Manhunt: Deputies Shot, 1 Dead

MARYVILLE, Tennessee – A manhunt is underway in Tennessee following a shooting incident that resulted in the death of a sheriff’s deputy and the injury of another during a traffic stop on Thursday night. Blount County sheriff’s deputies Greg McCowan, 43, and Shelby Eggers, 22, were shot after the driver refused to comply with the traffic stop just before 8:30 p.m. in Maryville, south of Knoxville, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The suspect in the shooting has been identified as Kenneth DeHart, 42, who is now facing charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation warned that DeHart may be armed and should be considered dangerous.

During the encounter, DeHart produced a gun and fired shots, striking both deputies. McCowan, a reserve deputy who joined the Blount County Sheriff’s Office full time in 2020, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. Eggers, who began her career at the sheriff’s office in 2019, was also treated at a hospital and is now recovering at home, the sheriff’s office confirmed.

Authorities have urged anyone who sees DeHart or has any information about his whereabouts to not approach him and to contact the Blount County Sheriff’s Office or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. A $62,500 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest, with $40,000 being donated by gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, which recently moved its headquarters to Maryville from Massachusetts.

In a statement, Smith & Wesson recognized both deputies’ dedication to public service and expressed their unwavering support and respect for law enforcement officers. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the risks that law enforcement officers face in the line of duty, as they work tirelessly to ensure the safety and well-being of their communities.

The Blount County community, along with law enforcement agencies, is in shock and mourning the loss of Deputy Greg McCowan, and prayers have been requested for his family, the injured deputy, and all the employees at the Blount County Sheriff’s Office. The investigation into the shooting incident is ongoing, with authorities continuing their search for the suspect, Kenneth DeHart.