Suspect identified in deadly Morristown deputy-involved shooting

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The TBI is investigating a deputy-involved shooting in Hamblen County / Source: (WVLT)

MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WVLT) — A suspect was killed in a deputy-involved shooting in Hamblen County, according to Sheriff Esco Jarnigan.

The Sheriff said a deputy responded to a call of a suspicious vehicle on 3000 block of Heathcliff Road in Morristown around 5:30 a.m. Friday.

The suspect has been identified as Anthony John Michael Zappier, 19, of New Market by the TBI.

Investigators said they believe Zappier was armed with a gun.

A deputy was dragged by his own vehicle when Zappier entered his cruiser and began driving, officials said. That's when the deputy fired a shot, striking and killing Zappier.

TBI said they believe the deputy's injuries are not life-threatening. They have since been released from the hospital.

A neighbor who was woken up by the commotion outside his home and called 911 told WVLT News what he saw unfolding in his backyard.

"We heard a big thunk, and there was a car in the backyard and a guy was outside cursing, screaming...I don't know he was calling out names,” said Jay Morgan. “I could see the police officer approaching him, probably to tase him, because he was pretty much out of his mind, very powerful. The cop approached him to tase him, and it didn’t affect him he said give me more, give me more.”

Morgan said he heard the sound of three gunshots.

“Yeah, it was scary, the police officer did the best he could do to try and calm the guy down..but he was so out of it..he wouldn’t have it.”

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said they are investigating.

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