|Update: This news release has been updated to include an official statement from Chief of Police Dale Phipps.
As a Chief of Police, being notified, as I was last night, that one of our officers has been shot in the line of duty is most certainly one of my worst nightmares. Having said that, we are eternally grateful that his injuries were not any more serious than they were. He is resting at home and is expected to fully recover. I was able to visit with him last night, and I communicated again with him this morning. He is in good spirits, especially considering the critical nature of what he just went through. Our prayers are with him and his family as he continues to heal, and we anticipate his return to duty. We are also extremely pleased that the juvenile offender responsible for this violent attack on a police officer was successfully apprehended and remains in custody. We look forward to him being charged to the maximum extent of the law.
-Dale Phipps, Chief of Police
As the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is now the primary investigating agency for this incident, any further inquiries should be directed to that organization.
As previously released:
On March 15, 2022 at approximately 10:00 PM, Kingsport Police Patrol Officers responded to a report of a 16 year old white male juvenile who had just escaped Department of Children’s Services (DCS) custody in the 700 block of North Eastman Road in Kingsport.
What follows is based upon the preliminary investigation:
One of the responding officers was searching the nearby area around the CSX train tracks adjacent to the 1900 block of Lincoln Street when the suspect was spotted. The suspect fled on foot, and the officer gave chase, eventually catching up to him. As the officer attempted to take the juvenile into custody, he resisted arrest.
During the subsequent struggle, the suspect attempted to gain control of the officer’s pistol. At some point, the pistol discharged, striking the officer in the lower leg.
Backup officers arrived and promptly took the suspect into custody. Charges against the suspect are pending the completion of the associated investigation.
The wounded officer was transported to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The officer has since been released from medical care.
As this incident involves the discharge of an officers firearm, in the interest of complete transparency, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) has been contacted to conduct an independent investigation. As such, no additional information can or will be released at this time.