Shot Tenn. Deputy Succumbs to Injuries

DICKSON, Tenn. --

A 27-year-old Dickson County deputy has died from injuries suffered in a shooting Monday morning, according to Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe.

Bledsoe said that Deputy Keith Bellar died Tuesday at 7:47 a.m. at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was transported after the shooting on Monday.

"He was doing what he did best, serving and protecting the citizens of Dickson County," said Bledsoe at a press conference.

Bledsoe said Bellar was responding to what he thought was a wreck, but that it was an unreported domestic incident.

Dickson police said 27-year-old Jayson Eggenberg shot Bellar, 27, then killed himself in the incident near the intersection of West Walnut and McKenzie.

"I heard seven, eight shots, and I called 911," said a neighbor.

Dickson Police Chief Ricky Chandler said Eggenberg had been having ongoing problems with his estranged wife. He met his wife outside a home on West Walnut. Eggenberg had followed his wife in his car as she was leaving work as a dispatcher at a Dickson 911 center and ran her off the road near the home, Chandler said. The couple had just separated and was involved in an ongoing fight.

"Well, it's difficult because individuals are not thinking straight when they're involved in a domestic," said Chandler. "It's hard to understand."

Bellar happened to be driving by and thought there had been a wreck. He was stopping to assist when Eggenberg shot the deputy in the head when he stepped from his patrol car, deputies said. Eggenberg then turned the gun on himself, they said, and died at the scene.

Eggenberg had just been arrested after a domestic call a few days ago and had attempted to hang himself a month ago. Chandler said his department has been called to the address concerning several domestic issues in the past.

Bellar was flown by helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Bellar, who was survived by his wife and a 6-month old son, had a bullet in the front part of his brain. The swelling was so catastrophic that it was inoperable, Vanderbilt officials said.

"We train together, and it's devastating when something like this happens," said Chandler.

Bellar, who went to Dickson County High School and Nashville State Community College, is a six-year veteran of the Dickson County Sheriff's Office.

"Everyone's trying to support the family, but it's going to be a miracle from God at this point, and we ask for prayers from the community," said Bledsoe on Monday.

At least eight shots were fired, officials said. Police said a stray bullet went through an 86-year-old woman's house. It went through her bedroom, but she was not hit.

Donate To Deputy's Family

Marlon Trone, with the Police Benevolent Association said a fund has been established for Bellar's wife and 6-month-old child. Those wanting to donate can text copsbellar to 27138. All of the donated money will go to Bellar's family.

Copyright 2011 by All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.