A Tennessee officer who was wounded after responding to a domestic situation Sunday evening has died, officials said.
The Knox County Sheriff’s Office released a statement on Tuesday revealing Officer Tucker Blakely died the day before from injuries he received on Sunday, Oct. 1, when he responded to a “domestic situation” at a home in the 2300 block of Denver Lane in West Knox County just after 11 p.m. Once on scene, officers encountered an “armed individual” and the situation escalated, with the suspect and the officers firing their weapons.
“Today, we are completely heartbroken,” a statement from KCSO read. “The family of Officer Tucker Blakely and our Knox County Sheriff’s Office family are processing what is sure to be the most difficult of our days. Today is a very painful reminder of just how fragile life can be and how brave and selfless our officers are.”
“And it’s a horrible reminder that, while our Officers go to work and deliver that service for you, they leave wives, husbands, teenagers, little babies, moms, dads, grandparents, brothers and sisters behind at home, not knowing what the day will bring,” it added.
KCSO said Officer Blakely initially responded to the home after dispatch received a “call for help from a family in need. And they did what they do each and every day, answer the call.”
“Once on scene, and for reasons still under investigation, a man began firing at KCSO Officers. Officers returned fire, killing the suspect. Officer Blakely was shot in the exchange of gunfire. He was rushed by AMR to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where, despite the efforts of EMS and the UT Medical Team, he died as a result of those injuries,” it continued.
“We often attempt to help our community understand the risks that our heroes in blue take on each and every day for the citizens and visitors of Knox County,” the KCSO statement said. “And no matter the circumstances or the danger involved, they never fall to rise to the occasion and deliver their best to those in need.”
It added, “Our Officers and their families need your support now more than ever.”
An “extremely difficult and meticulous investigation” into the shooting remains ongoing and is being led by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), KCSO said.
“We are in the very early stages of answering a lot of questions and most importantly, caring for the Blakely Family and our Knox County Sheriff’s Office Family. That will remain our focus in the many days to come.”
Immediately after the shooting Sunday, KCSO said the shooting left an officer with “very serious injuries.”
“Deputies with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office responded and encountered an armed individual at the residence. For reasons still under investigation, the situation escalated and shots were fired by both the individual and at least one of the deputies,” the bureau said in a news release. “The male subject was struck and pronounced deceased at the scene.”
TBI special agents are investigating the fatal officer-involved shooting at the request of 6th Judicial District Attorney General Charme Allen, the release said.
“TBI agents continue to work to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigative findings will be shared with the District Attorney General for her review and consideration,” the agency said.
Officer Blakely’s end of watch was Monday, Oct 2.
“Please continue to remember Officer Blakely’s family in your thoughts and prayers,” KCSO said.