MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Blount County Sheriff James Berrong says he wishes he could “turn back the clock” on an initial visit to an eastern Tennessee home where a police officer was killed later in the day Thursday.
Authorities say Officer Kenny Moats was taking cover and waiting for backup when he was fatally shot in the neck by 44-year-old Brian Keith Stalans. The sheriff says the gunman had an active order of protection against him in another county, and had been flagged as a “dangerous individual” in the national crime database.
But the sheriff says deputies followed the law in deciding not to make an arrest when they responded to an earlier call Thursday about a domestic disturbance between the suspect and his father.
Authorities were called again to the home later Thursday by someone who described acts of violence and the involvement of a firearm. That’s when Moats was shot.