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Kingsport man shot after firing weapon at state trooper

Becky Campbell • May 18, 2018 at 11:04 AM

GREENEVILLE — A Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper who stopped to check on a pick-up truck pulled onto a weigh station ramp shot the driver after the man tried to get away and started shooting at the officer, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported Friday.

It happened Friday morning near the weigh station located at mile marker 21 along southbound Interstate 81. The TBI was called in by 3rd Judicial District Attorney General Dan Armstrong to handle the investigation.

According to TBI Public Information Officer Leslie Earhart, the trooper saw the pick-up sitting on the ramp and went to check on it. The man driving the truck, later identified as Kenneth C. Powell, 25, Kingsport, told the trooper he pulled over because the truck had almost run out of gas. As the trooper investigated, he discovered the truck had been reported stolen from Sullivan County.

“At some point during the encounter, the suspect attempted to flee the area and drove the vehicle into the median,” Earhart said. “As the trooper attempted to approach the driver for a second time, the male subject began firing shots from inside the truck. The trooper returned fire, striking the subject.”

Powell was taken to a local hospital for treatment. The trooper was uninjured.

Earhart said agents will turn over the results of their investigation to Armstrong’s office once it is complete.

“As is our policy, the TBI does not identify the officers involved in these types of incidents and instead refers questions of that nature to their respective department,” she said.

Earhart said any further updates would be released on the agency’s website.

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