|On September 20, 2017 at approximately 2:00 PM, personnel from the Kingsport Police and Fire Departments responded to the Ballis Tourist Home, located at 310 West Sullivan Street in Kingsport, in reference to a possible arson committed by an armed man.
Information received and relayed by Central Dispatch, and later confirmed by responding officers, stated that the suspect, later identified as Ronald Lynn Hudson, had entered the structure and threatened to stab multiple residents with a knife. He had then kicked open the door to an apartment not his own, ransacked the room, broken a window, barricaded himself inside, and set the room on fire.
Upon arrival of K.P.D. and K.F.D. personnel, most of the tenants had already vacated the building; however, the few that remained were safely evacuated. The first responding Kingsport Police Officer approached the apartment in question. One of the tenants had already kicked the door back open and had tried unsuccessfully to encourage Mr. Hudson to come out.
The officer observed Mr. Hudson inside the burning room with knife in hand. He ordered him at gunpoint to drop the knife and exit the room. Mr. Hudson refused numerous commands to drop the knife and initially advanced upon the officer; however, he suddenly retreated back inside the burning apartment.
Backup officers arrived, and additional commands were given for him to exit the apartment without the knife. He eventually complied and was arrested without further incident. The fire was successfully extinguished soon thereafter by K.F.D. Firefighters before it was able to spread to other apartments.
Mr. Hudson was charged with Aggravated Burglary, Multiple Counts of Aggravated Assault, Attempted Aggravated Arson, and Felony Vandalism over $1,000. He was initially confined in the Kingsport City Jail, but has since been transferred to the Sullivan County Jail in Blountville. At his arraignment, his bond was set at $50,000 by the presiding judge. He currently remains incarcerated.
Mr. Hudson’s precise motive for this bizarre incident is unknown. The Kingsport Police Department wishes to commend both the Police and Fire first responders who exercised extreme courage, sound judgement, maximum restraint, and decisive action to bring this situation to a peaceful resolution with neither injury nor loss of life to anyone involved.