UPDATED: Deputy involved shooting victim was once a cop

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Maryville, Blount County (WVLT) - The Blount County Sheriff says two deputies were forced to use lethal force after they say a man who they were trying to serve with a warrant pulled a gun on them.

Volunteer TV's Blount County Bureau Chief Stephen McLamb has the newest details.

An interesting twist to this story I've been able to confirm.

The suspect who was killed, Leroy Hickman Jr. was once a cop himself.

Employed as a patrol officer for the City of Maryville from 1969 to 1972.

But authorities say last night, he was a threat not only to his family, but deputies as well.

Buck Whitehead, Hickman's longtime friend says, "he was pretty quiet and I've never known him to be in any trouble except maybe a little arguing with his wife but nothing violent."

But violence was a big concern of Sheriff's deputies who went to Leroy Hickman's home late Sunday night.

After allegedly shoving his wife into the kitchen cabinets on Saturday, a police report shows Hickman's wife took out a domestic violence warrant against him.

Attached to the warrant, family members warned deputies of weapons in the home.

Sheriff James Berrong says, "that that gentleman had made threats against a number of people including officers."

After luring Hickman out of the home into the yard, Sheriff Berrong says Hickman pulled and pointed what appeared to be a gun on the officers.

April Elmore, a neighbor says, "I was laying down. I heard five loud shots back to back."

Sheriff Berrong continues, "a total of twelve shots. He was struck five times."

Here is a snippet from the 911call.

"Get me an ambulance, and ambulance on Grove street. We've had a shooting."

Berrong says deputies soon found their threat.

"He was rolled over and had a loaded 380 caliber automatic underneath him."

A search of the house, deputies realized the threat they had faced.

Elmore continues, "they come out and each one kept bringing guns, different types of guns out of the house."

Berrong says, "I think it was eleven total. I think nine long guns and two hand guns."

For neighbors, the event was anything but ordinary.

Elmore says, "it was really surprising because this is really a safe neighborhood. We never expected anything like that to happen."

The TBI has been called in to assist in the investigation.

An autopsy is now being performed at UT Medical Center.

Meanwhile, all of the deputies involved, Sgt. Doug Moore, deputies Paige Craig, Matthew Gilmore, and Robert Berkley are on paid leave during the investigation.


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