A 66-year-old man who reportedly opened fire on two deputies last week near Newtown has been released from the hospital and is behind bars at Warren County Jail on more than $1 million bond.
Charles Ray Bean was released from a Chattanooga hospital on Friday and is recovering from a wound to his face. Upon his release, Warren County officers were on the scene to serve him with arrest warrants – two for criminal attempt to commit homicide, and two for aggravated assault.
Bean was taken into custody, transported back to Warren County, and booked at the jail at 1:52 p.m. Friday. His bond is $1,075,000. Jail records list him at 5-foot-5 and 135 pounds.
According to a preliminary investigation, the chain of events that led to Bean allegedly opening fire on two Warren County deputies began last Monday, Nov. 19. Bean reportedly alerted authorities in Rutherford County that he planned to burn his home in Overton County, then kill his son-in-law in Warren County.
Law enforcement took the second threat seriously when they arrived at Bean’s property in Overton County and found it was on fire. Warren County officials were alerted Bean could be headed this way.
Sheriff Tommy Myers said his department increased patrols around the son-in-law’s home and one of his officers noticed a vehicle matching the description of the car Bean was believed to be driving, a white Chevy Impala.
The officer fell in behind the suspect in Newtown as he traveled on New Nashville Highway heading toward Centertown. Another officer was also in the area for backup.
Bean traveled outbound on the four-lane and made a right turn onto C Rody Road. Shortly after making the turn, Bean reportedly turned his vehicle sideways across the road to provide cover. He then jumped out and opened fire on the officers, who both stopped their vehicles at the intersection of the four-lane and C Rody Road.
A gunfight ensued with the suspect and officers about 100 feet away from one another.
According to evidence markers at the scene, the suspect fired at least 23 shots at deputies. He shot out both right-side tires of one Sheriff’s Department vehicle, and shot through the front windshield and passenger-side window of the other.
The suspect reportedly had a handgun and a rifle in his possession. It is not known if he used both weapons in the assault.
Bean was injured in the gunfire exchange, suffering a wound to his face, and was airlifted from the scene.
Sheriff Myers expressed relief his deputies were not injured despite coming under heavy gunfire and that no passing motorist was hit by a stray bullet on the heavily traveled four-lane.
District Attorney General Lisa Zavogiannis echoed those comments.
“Those officers did a great job and what they did saved lives,” said Zavogiannis. “There was so much potential for harm. There were houses nearby. There was a busy highway right there. This guy was intent on coming here and doing harm. He would have done harm, no doubt.”
As to why Bean reportedly set a fire on his property and then drove to Warren County to apparently try to kill his son-in-law, reports are that he has been suffering from mental issues that became acute about a month ago.