Tennessee manhunt: Authorities seek suspect accused of shooting 2 deputies, 1 fatally

ByMeredith Deliso ABCNews logo
Sunday, February 11, 2024
Manhunt underway in Tennessee after 2 deputies shot, 1 fatally
A Tennessee manhunt is underway for Kenneth DeHart. He is accused of shooting two Blount County deputies, killing one, in Maryville, TN.

BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn. -- A manhunt is underway in Tennessee for a suspect accused of shooting two deputies during a traffic stop, killing one of them, authorities said.

Kenneth DeHart, 42, is wanted on first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder charges in connection with the shooting of two Blount County deputies, state police said. He also faces one count of being a felon in possession of a weapon.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has DeHart on its "most wanted" list.

The incident occurred Thursday evening in the 4900 block of Sevierville Road in Maryville, the sheriff's office said. "Erratic driving" prompted the traffic stop, police said. Details on what led up to the shooting have not been released.

The last known location of DeHart was in the Wildwood area, the sheriff's office said. He is believed to be on foot and is considered armed and dangerous, the sheriff's office said.

Amid the search, the suspect's 41-year-old brother, Marcus DeHart, was taken into custody Friday on accessory after the fact "for aiding the defendant after the commission of the homicide," Blount County District Attorney General Ryan Desmond said during a press briefing. He is being held on a $1 million bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday, Desmond said.

Authorities said they are unable to release any additional details on the case at this time.

More than $80,000 in reward money is being offered for information leading to his arrest, according to the Blount County sheriff. That includes a $40,000 reward being offered by Smith & Wesson, which is headquartered in Maryville.

The Blount County Sheriff's Office urged those in the Wildwood area with outdoor security or doorbell camera video systems to check for video or photos of "possible suspicious persons or activity that may have occurred near your resident overnight."

"We will get this man off the streets of East Tennessee and put him behind bars," Blount County Sheriff James Berrong said during a press briefing early Friday.

A visibly emotional Berrong identified the deceased deputy as Greg McCowan during the briefing.

"I'm so sorry that we've lost a young man. I talked to his family earlier. I apologized for not protecting him," Berrong said.

McCowan, 43, began working with the sheriff's office in 2020, after making a career change from manufacturing. He was commended by the sheriff's office in April 2021 for helping save the life of a man trapped in a burning vehicle. He enjoyed riding motorcycles and restoring old vehicles, the sheriff's office said.

"Deputy McCowan was a hero both in life and in his death," the sheriff's office said in a statement. "Sheriff Berrong and our deputies are heartbroken at his senseless death."

He is survived by his fiancé, two children, granddaughter and parents.

Deputy Shelby Eggers, 22, who returned fire during the incident, was shot in the leg, the sheriff's office said. She has since been released from an area hospital.

ABC News' Ahmad Hemingway contributed to this report.