CLARKSVILLE (AP) — A multiple-murder suspect who led Tennessee law enforcement on an intense 7-day manhunt was captured without a struggle Friday morning in a wooded area about two hours northwest of Nashville.
Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew told a news conference Kirby Gene Wallace was carrying a loaded handgun and ready for a firefight when Belew and Cpl. Stacey Bostwick spotted him walking toward them at about 10:15 a.m. The officers had been hiding in two deer blinds since first light, and Wallace did not see them, Belew said.
“I let him get probably about 25 yards from me and then identified myself as sheriff’s office, drew down on him. I had an AR-15 on him,” Belew said. “He was very cooperative at first. I asked him to come to me, step to me, put your hands out to the side.”
But then Wallace stepped behind a tree and came out the other side with his hands at his waist. Belew said he anticipated a firefight until Wallace put his hands back up and dropped to his knees. The officers found a loaded pistol at Wallace’s waist.
“We are very fortunate that we didn’t wind up in a shootout with the suspect up there,” Belew said. “It crossed his mind because he told us it crossed his mind. He just thought that we had the drop on him, so he didn’t take that action and we’re very thankful.”
Multiple law enforcement agencies including the TBI were involved in the manhunt, which involved helicopters and dogs in rugged terrain.
Wallace was taken to the Stewart County jail after his capture. He faces multiple charges in two counties after being accused of attacking a couple and setting their house on fire, killing the wife and seriously injuring the husband. He’s also accused of fatally shooting a man Monday and stealing his truck.
The search forced nearby schools to go on “soft lockdown” and bus routes were canceled to keep children safe as area residents were warned to stay inside.