A veteran Sullivan County, Tennessee Sheriff's deputy was seriously wounded and a suspect was found dead after a shooting early Saturday morning.
Deputies responded to a welfare check request around 12:36 a.m. at 3606 Highway 11-W in Blountville when the incident occurred, according to The Times News.
Deputy Steve Hinkle was shot and wounded in the exchange of gunfire with Jackie Scott Pendergrass, Sheriff Jeff Cassidy told reporters during a press conference Saturday evening.
"One of my officers arrived, and right when he arrived, Mr. Pendergrass fired a shot," He said. "The officer then retreated towards cover, and deputies responded with fire as well. At some time during the gunfire exchange, Deputy Steve Hinkle was struck by gunfire. Deputy Hinkle was transported to a local hospital, where he is listed in serious condition."
Numerous attempts were made to negotiate with Pendergrass but were unsuccessful. After several hours, entry was made into the residence and the suspect was found dead.
The Sullivan County Sheriff's Office was assisted by officers from Carter County, Hawkins County, Kingsport, Bristol, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI.
Cassidy described the 27-year veteran Hinkle as a "very loved" deputy who has worked nearly every facet of the job -- including corrections, patrol, school resource officer, process service and courts.
"Deputy Hinkle is very respected," he said. "He’s a father, a grandfather, a brother and also a brother of our agency, and we love him dearly. Our continued prayers for his recovery." Cassidy asked everyone to keep Hinkle and his family in their prayers.
The shooting and standoff remain under investigation.