MARYVILLE, TN – A massive manhunt is in progress in Tennessee following the fatal shooting of a sheriff’s deputy and the injury of another during a routine traffic stop, as reported by Blount County Sheriff James Berrong.
Early Friday, the sheriff’s office identified the deceased deputy as Greg McCowan. It was also disclosed that Deputy Shelby Eggers, a female officer, was wounded in the leg during the incident. She has since been discharged from a local medical facility and is recuperating at home.
Law enforcement agencies are on the lookout for 42-year-old Kenneth Wayne DeHart, who is suspected to be involved in the fatal incident that occurred in Maryville on Thursday night. According to Berrong, DeHart is wanted on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The circumstances that led to the fatal shooting during the traffic stop on Sevierville Road remain unclear.
A Blue Alert has been issued for DeHart, who was last sighted in the Wildwood area, east of Maryville. Initially seen driving a silver Lexus, he is now believed to be on foot and is considered “armed and dangerous.” DeHart is described as a 6-foot tall Black man, weighing 260 pounds, with black hair, brown eyes, and currently sporting dreadlocks.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is aiding local law enforcement in their search for DeHart and the ongoing investigation. DeHart was added to the state’s Most Wanted list Friday morning, and the TBI is offering a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to his arrest. Additionally, the Blount County mayor has offered a $10,000 reward for information that leads to his arrest, as per Berrong.
Tips regarding DeHart’s location can be reported to the BCSO at 865-981-7125 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
In a heartfelt statement, Berrong expressed his sorrow to McCowan’s family, apologizing for “not protecting him.” He vowed to apprehend DeHart and ensure justice is served.
The sheriff’s office expressed gratitude for the community’s support and prayers for Deputy McCowan’s family and Deputy Eggers’ ongoing recovery via a Facebook post.