MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- A Maryville police officer was shot and killed Thursday afternoon after responding to a domestic disturbance call along Alcoa Trail in Blount County.
The officer was identified as Kenny Moats. You can read more about his life and career here: Maryville officer killed in shooting identified as Kenny Moats and Blount County Sheriff: Shooting suspect set officers up for an ambush.
Brian Keith Stalans, 44, of Kerr Way, Maryville, was taken into custody and was held pending charges investigators said would likely be filed against him Friday. The officer was rushed to UT Medical Center where he later died.
Police did not release the identity of the officer because his entire family had not been notified. He had been with the department several years and was recently assigned to the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force in the narcotics division. He had three young children.
Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp said, "We would ask our citizens to remember this officer's family. He has three small children. It's a very trying time for his family, it's a trying time for the men and women of the Maryville Police Department, it's a trying time for the law enforcement of this community."
Investigators told Local 8 News that the officer was in the area with his partner and responded to a domestic violence call.
Chief Crisp said, "One was a Maryville police officer and one was a Blount County Sheriff's Deputy. We're members of the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force which is a combination of Maryville police, Alcoa police and Blount County Sheriff's Office."
The Blount County Sheriff's Office issued a statement saying, "The investigators were close to the call and responded. They parked their vehicle at a residence approximately 70 yards behind the house from which the call originated. Once on the scene, investigators were able to take the victim, who is Stalans’ father, into a safe area. They then positioned themselves behind their vehicle waiting on help to arrive while watching the house. As they were taking cover, Stalans opened fire on them from his father’s garage, striking the Maryville police officer in the neck."
According to police, the Maryville officer was shot outside on the corner of Alcoa Trail and Kerrway Lane. Police said his partner fired back, but didn't hit the suspect. Another Blount County deputy arrived and fired at Stalans. The suspect complied and was taken into custody.
Both officers were wearing ballistic vests.
Investigators told Local 8 News that around 10:45 a.m., deputies responded a possible domestic involving Brian Stalans and his father, who lives next door. At that time, deputies said they did not have probable cause to arrest Brian Stalans.
Stalans currently has an active order of protection against him in Sullivan County.
The officer was the fourth killed in the line of duty in Maryville according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.
Chief Crisp said, "We'll lean on one another. We live in a great place, we're not immune to tragic events such as this but I know we have a strong community and they'll rally around as they've been supporting their officers and deputies over the last number of months as this profession has been under stress."
Cory Everett was a friend of the fallen officer. He told Local 8 News Anchor Amanda Hara, "I just want you to know what type of man he was. He was the type of man who patrolled my neighborhood every night for a month after my house was broken into just to make sure I was safe.
He was not only an amazing man, father, and officer. He was an amazing friend."
The Loudon and Anderson County sheriff's offices sent deputies to help the Blount County Sheriff's Office with patrols until Friday morning.
Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong said the Sheriff’s Office is holding a Maryville man at the Blount County Detention Facility after he shot and killed a Maryville Police officer today.
“This is a very tough time for the officer’s family as well as the law enforcement community. We’d also like to thank our citizens for all of the support they have expressed and to our law enforcement family throughout the region for their support and assistance. ”
Before news of the officer's death was confirmed, dozens of fellow officers gathered at UT Medical Center waiting for news on his condition.
Many of the officers could see hugging one another in support.