Knoxville officer shoots and kills man along I-40 during traffic stop fight

Ofc. David Gerlach

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- An investigation into an officer-involved shooting on the I-40 West ramp to Kingston Pike is ongoing.

Investigators say a police officer shot and killed a man because he felt his life was in danger. Two men were stopped along the side of the road when one allegedly attempted to take the officer's gun.

Initial reports indicate that the officer, identified as 26-year-old David Gerlach, attempted to subdue the suspect with his Taser but that the weapon was "ineffective" against the suspect. According to KPD, the suspect had Officer Gerlach pinned to the ground and was trying to pull the gun away from the officer with such force that it broke the leather holster.

KPD now reports the license plate on the car the suspects were driving was stolen. IT was not reported stolen until Sunday afternoon when the owner noticed it was gone.

The car the suspects were driving has not been reported stolen. Investigators are trying to track down its owner before beginning a vehicle search.

The suspect's body was examined at the forensics center, where investigators found a syringe in the man's shoe and Suboxone in his pocket.

KPD says Officer Gerlach fired more than one shot and the suspect had more than one gunshot wound to the upper body.

PREVIOUS STORY: 07/27/14 - 03:08PM

Investigators say a police officer shot and killed a man because he felt his life was in danger.

It happened around 3 a.m. Sunday on the I-40 W ramp to Kingston Pike.

Police say the officer stopped to help two men who were trying to change a flat tire.

While talking to the guys, police say 45-year-old Ronald Carden starting attacking Officer David Gerlach.

They say the officer used his Taser to get control of the suspect, but he continued to fight.

When the man allegedly tried taking the officer's gun, the officer opened fire and killed the man.

The suspect, who was just recently released on parole, said he was not going back to prison before the attack.

The second male was been taken to the Safety Building for interviews and released.

Gerlach has been on the force since July 2011.

The officer will be placed on leave with pay pending the conclusion of the investigation, which is standard operating procedure for an officer-involved shooting.

No names have been released.

The investigation into the shooting is continuing this afternoon. The suspect's vehicle was towed and will be processed for additional evidence.

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