MARYVILLE, Tenn. – A manhunt is currently underway in Tennessee following a deadly shooting involving two Blount County sheriff’s deputies during a routine traffic stop late Thursday night.
The deputies, Greg McCowan, 43, and Shelby Eggers, 22, were shot after a driver refused to cooperate with the stop just before 8:30 p.m. in Maryville, just south of Knoxville, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The suspect, identified as 42-year-old Kenneth DeHart, is wanted on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
The situation escalated when DeHart produced a gun and fired shots, striking both deputies. McCowan was pronounced dead at a hospital, while Eggers, who started her career at the sheriff’s office as a corrections deputy in 2019, is recovering at home after being treated for her wounds.
Authorities are urging anyone who sees DeHart or has information on his whereabouts to avoid approaching him and instead contact the Blount County Sheriff’s Office or the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation as a $62,500 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest.
The reward money includes a $40,000 donation from gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, which recently moved its headquarters to Maryville from Massachusetts. The company expressed support for the deputies and their dedication to public service, emphasizing the risk they take in their line of work every day.
Sheriff James Lee Berrong expressed his condolences for the fallen deputy and requested prayers for both McCowan’s and Eggers’ families during an emotional news conference.
The shooting serves as a grim reminder of the dangers law enforcement officers face while carrying out their duties, underscoring the need for continual support and respect for their efforts to ensure public safety.