Three KPD officers shoot burglary suspect in North Knoxville

By: Conroy Delouche Email
By: Conroy Delouche Email

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT)-- Gunfire rings out in a quiet north Knoxville community.

Tonight, a man is in the hospital, three officers are on leave and a community shaken to the core.

This afternoon folks in Fountain City had a front row seat to an officer-involved shooting.

Police chased down Charles Duggan and were forced to shoot him after they say he tried to attack them.

KPD identified the officers involved. They are Chris Hutton, Roger Simmons and Charles Lyons.

The shooting happened around 3:00 on Eldridge Road just off of north Broadway.

Andrew Cummings tells Local 8 News that he watched a woman help Duggan break in to his neighbor's house through the kitchen window.

He called police, and the officers caught up with the Duggan at a near-by gas station. The very same place that Todd O'Dell was filling up.

"The cops tried to stop him right there at the gas station, but he pulled out, and they chased him all the way in front of my house here," said O'Dell.

Police cornered Charles Duggan in his truck in the woods next to a white house. But no one could predict what happened next.

"Announced themselves several times, asking them to shut off the vehicle, and to step out the vehicle and to get on the ground. But he did not turn the vehicle off and kept going," said Cummings, who also witnessed the shooting.

"It appears the suspect was trying to use his vehicle as a weapon against the three officers," said KPD Spokesperson Darrell DeBusk.

DeBusk says Duggan was trying to run over the police, and that's when they opened fire.

"And we heard a bunch of gunshots, it was a bunch of gunshots," said O'Dell.

"All I heard was gunfire going off, and I heard a lady screaming and crying," said Brenda Polson.

"The suspect was trying to harm the officers. The officers are going to do what they need to protect themselves and the public and that appears what they did in this case at this point," said DeBusk.

Police say each officer fired more than once, and hit Duggan at least twice. He was then rushed to UT Medical Center.

"Never expected anything to happen like that. You only see it on TV," said O'Dell.

KPD stayed until the sun went down collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses.

The scene is cleared now, but no one will forget hearing the gunshots in their own neighborhood anytime soon.

None of officers involved were hurt. KPD has placed them on paid administrative leave, which is standard procedure in any officer-involved shooting.

Duggan is charged with aggravated assault, but there could be more charges coming.

Police also say he has a lengthy rap sheet, including several charges of aggravated burglary, theft, and drug possession.


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