Authorities have identified the teenager killed during an officer-involved shooting on Ooltewah-Ringgold Road on Tuesday afternoon.
The suspect is Nathan Lee Trew, 19, of Apison, and he was shot once in the chest by a Catoosa County detective sergeant, said Sheriff Phil Summers in a news release.
The sergeant, who still hasn’t been identified, has been employed with the sheriff’s office for the past 14 years, Summers said. He has been placed on administrative leave pending the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s investigation, he said.
The suspect on Tuesday pointed a gun at a group of sheriff's deputies in a wooded area of Catoosa County and shouted, "I'm not going back to jail," authorities said.
Both Catoosa and Hamilton County sheriff's deputies had been searching for a burglar earlier Tuesday when authorities received a call that a man carrying two black duffle bags was seen leaving a house in the Meadows subdivision off Ooltewah-Ringgold Road around 4 p.m., Summers said.
The suspect later was spotted in the woods by a police dog sent to search the area, Summers said.
Several deputies tried to talk the man into putting the shotgun down, but he wouldn't listen, Summers said. Then the man lifted the gun to his own head and threatened to kill himself.
Deputies were able to calm him and, when he lifted the gun in front of a deputy, he again was talked out of firing it, Summers said.
When five deputies arrived and had him cornered the man lifted the gun again toward a deputy, and a seasoned detective fired the shot, Summers said.
Emergency workers tried to revive the man, but he stopped breathing, Summers said.
He said the duffel bags, which contained stolen property, were recovered. The shotgun the man carried was stolen, as well, Summers said.
Ooltewah-Ringgold Road was closed for several hours as officers investigated, and the body was removed by ambulance from a section of the woods across from the Davis Cattle Ranch.
Authorities are investigating whether the man may have been responsible for another burglary reported at 10 a.m. on Tuesday in the same subdivision and several other burglaries nearby across the state line, Summers said.
Investigators led by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which takes over in cases of an officer-involved shooting, are working to determine if the man acted alone.
Authorities believe the man either was dropped off at the neighborhood or lived in the area, Summers said. Investigators believe he could have a criminal record, since he admitted to going to jail before he was killed, the sheriff said.
The GBI also will investigate whether the detective -- whose name was withheld during the investigation -- followed protocol during the shooting. But Summers said that, based on his interviews, he believes the officers did what they should have done.
"I have no reason to think nothing other than this was a justified shooting incident," he said.
Joy Lukachick is a crime reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered breaking news, high-profile trials, stories of lost lives and of regained hope and done investigative work. Raised near the Bayou, Joy’s hometown is along the outskirts of Baton Rouge, La. She has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, Joy was a staff writer for the Daily Reveille. When Joy isn't chasing down ...
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