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Update: Accused Johnson County gunman wounded in shootout, captured

June 13th, 2013 1:30 pm by Staff Report

Update: Accused Johnson County gunman wounded in shootout, captured

Richard Shane Mabe



MOUNTAIN CITY — Richard Shane Mabe, 33, was taken into custody on Thursday afternoon following a short but spectacular police pursuit in which several shots were exchanged and Mabe was wounded in the right forearm.


The pursuit began when Mabe was spotted in the passenger seat of a Saturn going through the drive thru at Hardees. Johnson County Sheriff Mike Reece said the pursuit went north on Tenn. Highway 91, culminating at the Marathon Station at the intersection with Divide Road, where a carjacking ended with Mabe being rammed by police cruisers and forced into a ditch.


"It was a job well done," a pleased Reece said of the pursuit and capture.


The sheriff's department has been searching for Mabe since a shootout that took place at 2636 Divide Road at 2:10 a.m. Monday. Investigators said Mabe shot Jackie Harless, 40, and Michael Laird, 40, both of Mountain City. One man was shot in the abdomen and another was shot in the face and leg.  They were both shot with a 9 mm. pistol. Another round from the gun hit a nearby residence.


The search led to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation placing Mabe on its Ten Most Wanted List on Wednesday. He was removed from the list just 24 hours later.


Reece participated in the pursuit. He said it began for him when he was in his office around 11:45 a.m. He said he had just been talking to the TBI in Nashville. As he finished, he heard a report that Mabe had been spotted in the passenger seat of a Saturn that was in the drive-thru lane at Hardee's. Some of his deputies and officers from the Mountain City Police Department were already en route.


Suddenly the officers reported that they had been fired upon by occupants in the Saturn and there was now a pursuit heading north on Highway 91.


Reece said the two men in the Saturn were firing a 9 mm. pistol that may be the same weapon used in Monday's shooting. They were also firing a sawed-off shotgun.


"As they were going by the old Donnelly House Antique store they stopped and Mabe came out the sun roof and shot," Reece said. The shot hit the front of a police cruiser but no one was reported injured. The officers were returning fire.


He said the pursuit finally reached the Marathon Station at the intersection of Highway 91 and Divide Road. Reece said there were several cars waiting to refuel and the two men got out of the Saturn and carjacked a small car that Reece though was a Nissan.


After the men took control of the carjacked car Mabe got behind the steering wheel, Reece said. Before they could get up to speed, the car was rammed in the side by Investigator Cole Gladden of the sheriff's department.


Reece said he was right behind them at the time. He was riding in a cruiser with Investigator Shawn Brown.


Reece said the impact of the ramming did not stop the vehicle and it continued going forward until it was rammed in the rear by Gladden's husband, Deputy Mark Gladden, a school resource officer assigned to patrol duty during the school's summer vacation.


The impact caused the car to go down a bank and come to rest. Reece said Mabe pointed a gun at an officer but was quickly subdued.


The man with Mabe was identified as Timothy Lee Greer, 29, from nearby Preston, N.C. He was also taken into custody. Reece said Greer has had previous arrests in the county. The pistol and the shotgun were recovered and Reece said both men had ammunition in their pockets.


Reece said the abandoned Saturn had bullet holes that had been made by the pursuing officers, include a shot that went through the car and hit Mabe in the arm.


In a note of irony, Reece said the pursuit ended just about a mile from the location of Monday's double shooting.


Reece said there will be several charges placed on both men as a result of Thursday's pursuit. Mabe is already facing several charges as a result of Monday's shooting including: two counts of attempted second degree murder, one count of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm in the commission of a dangerous felony, one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, one count of unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, and violation of probation.


Reece said the sheriff's department was assisted by the U.S. Marshal's Service, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the Tennessee Highway Patrol, the Mountain City Police Department, and the Damascus, Va. Police Department.

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