Tuesday, March 5, 2024
By Rampart Stonebridge, updated on February 10, 2024

Manhunt Underway For ‘Armed And Dangerous’ Suspect In Deadly Shooting Of Deputy

A chilling echo of violence disrupted the quiet community of Maryville, Tennessee, when Deputy Greg McCowan lost his life, and Deputy Shelby Eggers was wounded during a routine traffic stop gone awry.

In a distressing series of events, Kenneth DeHart became the focus of a Tennessee manhunt after fatally shooting one deputy and injuring another during a Thursday evening traffic stop.

The incident that triggered this massive law enforcement response unfolded just before 8:30 p.m. on the 4900 block of Sevierville Road in Maryville. Deputies Greg McCowan, 43, and Shelby Eggers, 22, initiated what should have been a routine traffic stop on DeHart's SUV.

Dangerous Confrontation on Sevierville Road

As the situation escalated, DeHart's refusal to cooperate and exit his vehicle led deputies to employ a stun gun in an attempt to subdue him. This action, however, proved futile against DeHart.

In a harrowing turn, DeHart produced a firearm, discharging rounds that struck both McCowan and Eggers. The aftermath of this confrontation resulted in Deputy McCowan being pronounced dead at a hospital, leaving a community to mourn a dedicated officer.

Deputy Eggers was rushed to the hospital with serious, but thankfully non-life-threatening injuries. Despite the trauma of the event, she showed resilience and was subsequently released, now recuperating at home.

A Statewide Search Intensifies

Following DeHart's flight from the scene, law enforcement authorities issued a statewide Blue Alert and placed him on the TBI Most Wanted list. It is believed DeHart may have abandoned his vehicle, continuing on foot in the Wildwood area.

Sheriff James L. Berrong, deeply affected by the night's events, pledged relentless pursuit of DeHart, vowing to bring him to justice. “We will get this man off the streets of East Tennessee and put him behind bars,” he stated, underlining an unwavering commitment to law and order.

A substantial reward, totaling $62,500, has been declared for information leading to DeHart's apprehension, as the community unites in a common goal to ensure he faces the consequences of his heinous acts.

Remembering a Fallen Hero

The department reminisced about Deputy McCowan not just as a law enforcer but as a person who was always smiling, friendly, and passionate about motorcycles and restoring vintage vehicles. His transition from manufacturing to law enforcement in 2020 marked the fulfillment of a lifelong aspiration to serve and protect.

Residents in the vicinity of the incident have been urged to review their security footage, which could provide crucial leads. The sheriff's office also calls for anyone with information concerning DeHart's whereabouts since the tragic Thursday evening to step forward.

Despite the anguish of loss, the sheriff's office also relayed a glimmer of hope with the news of Deputy Eggers’s recovery. “Eggers was released from the hospital and is recovering at home,” they shared, an outcome that while bittersweet, offers some solace amidst the sorrow.

Lessons to Learn from This Tragedy

1. The importance of cooperation with law enforcement cannot be overstated. Compliance during traffic stops can prevent unnecessary escalation.

2. Community vigilance is essential. Residents are encouraged to be observant and report suspicious activities or individuals, which could be instrumental in preventing or solving crimes.

3. Remember, despite all precautions, crime can strike unpredictably. It's imperative to avoid victim-blaming and understand that ultimately, the responsibility lies with the perpetrator.

Why This Story Matters

This tragic event underscores the dangers law enforcement officers face daily, highlighting the imperative need for community support and cooperation. It also acts as a sobering reminder of the unpredictability of crime and the importance of collective vigilance in ensuring public safety.

In conclusion, the community grapples with a mix of grief, anger, and determination following the events that unfolded in Maryville, Tennessee.

The tragic loss of Deputy Greg McCowan, the injury of Deputy Shelby Eggers, and the ensuing manhunt for Kenneth DeHart have left an indelible mark, forcing residents and law enforcement alike to confront the realities of crime and the importance of unity in the face of adversity.

A pursuit for justice continues, as does the remembrance of a hero fallen in the line of duty.

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Written By: Rampart Stonebridge

I'm Rampart Stonebridge, a curious and passionate writer who can't get enough of true crime. As a criminal investigative journalist, I put on my detective hat, delving deep into each case to reveal the hidden truths. My mission? To share engaging stories and shed light on the complexities of our mysterious world, all while satisfying your curiosity about the intriguing realm of true crime.



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