KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Police have released the names of the man and officers involved in a deadly shootout in an East Knoxville neighborhood Saturday.
Police say they were called out because 31-year-old Lonnie Flemming had allegedly assaulted his girlfriend. During the assault, they say he fired a shot near the victim as she and a friend were trying to call 911.
Officer Derrick White found the Flemming walking near Selma and Chestnut. Flemming ran into the woods and down to a creek bank, where police say he pulled out a gun and starting shooting toward Officer White.
Officer White was hit more than once, but was able to shoot back and injure Flemming.
When Officer Thomas Turner arrived, they say Flemming went for a second weapon. They fired their weapons again, which killed him.
Officer White was taken to UT Medical Center for treatment and released late Saturday.
Police say Flemming has a long criminal history that included a March 2014 outstanding warrant for his arrest on an Aggravated Assault charge on the same victim that was assaulted on Saturday.
They say in the March assault, Flemming was accused of hitting her in the eye then throwing a bucket of bleach on her head and face causing chemical burns and disfigurement to the victim’s face. They say he also pulled the victim down the street causing multiple injuries to her face, stomach, and chest.
Both Officer White and Officer Turner will be placed on administrative leave with pay, pending the conclusion of the investigation. This is standard operating procedure for an officer involved shooting.
Both of them have been on the force since 2011.
It started when an officer responded to a domestic disturbance just before 7 a.m. on McConnell Street in East Knoxville.
Police say a woman had been assaulted, but the suspect left the scene before the officer arrived. He found the suspect a few minutes later, and started chasing him on foot.
"The officer caught up with the suspect. The suspect fired at the officer, striking the officer," Police Chief David Rausch said. "The officer returned fire."
The suspect ran to a creek in a wooded area, behind a house on Graves Street. That's where the shootout happened, Rausch said.
A second officer arrived soon after the first one was shot. They both ordered the suspect to drop his gun and surrender. That's when he reached for a second gun. The officers shot and killed the man, Rausch said.
Daniel Anderson, who lives nearby, said he heard the gunshots and went to his front door to see what was happening.
"I opened the door, and that's when I saw the cops, two of them were just walking through the yard from back here," he said. "One of them was bleeding real bad from his arm."
People who live on Graves Street say they were confused and scared when cop cars starting showing up.
Larry Raines said the first shots woke up him. He went outside to see what was happening. That's when he heard the next round of gunfire.
"[I went] back in the house," Raines said. "It was 'get back in the house.'"
"It was pretty scary," Anderson said. "I just moved here a few weeks ago.
Jerelene Clark said she's lived on this street since 1967. She can't believe something so violent happened here.
"Nothing like this has happened before in this area, on our street," she said.
The officer is recovering in the hospital. His injuries are not life-threatening, police said.
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