Man faces attempted first degree murder charges after officer-involved shooting
The Knox County Sheriff's Office announced that a 58-year-old man who allegedly shot and wounded a deputy Monday evening was charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder.
James Allen Hickman is being treated for a gunshot wound to the shoulder at UT Medical Center. Officials named Hickman as the suspect.
Officer Travis Wheat was shot in the arm and remains in stable condition at UT Medical Center. The 34-year-old deputy has been with the sheriff's office since 2005 and on patrol for almost two years.
Local 8 News Reporter Chynna Greene reported at least 50 officers coming and going at University of Tennessee Medical Center on Monday night. She said the campus blocked off parts of a parking garage to accommodate law enforcement officials arriving to stand watch.
The incident started after Hickman's wife called 911 at 7 p.m. to report that he was threatening suicide. Authorities said Hickman fired a round from a handgun while his wife was on the phone with dispatchers. She reportedly told emergency response she didn't feel safe and left the house.
The Knox County Sheriff's Office and the Knoxville Police Department responded to the scene near 115 Noe Hill Lane at 7:10 p.m. Investigators say shots were exchanged between the Hickman and two deputies within minutes of the KCSO's arrival.
Reporter Robert Grant shared a video documenting the police response along Asheville Highway on Monday night.
As of 8:30 p.m. Monday traffic along US Highway 25 West, also Asheville Highway, was down to one lane. Neighbors initially reported concern that a possible suspect was potentially unaccounted for but officials later reported the suspect had been hit by gunfire and was taken to the hospital.
A neighbor nearby, Alex Beard, said "I heard a loud noise, I didn't really know what it was. Then I heard the sirens going by for about an hour. It is a little worrying, but I hope everything will be fine."
Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett tweeted, "Say a prayer for the @knoxsheriff deputy shot tonight in East Knox County. Our men and women in blue put their lives at risk to protect and serve, and they deserve our thanks and prayers."
June 2017 was the last time an officer of the law was hurt in the line of duty in Knoxville or Knox County.