published Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Grundy County shooting probe continues

  • photo
    Grundy County Sheriff Brent Myers
    Photo by Dick Cook

A Grundy County, Tenn., man who said he wouldn't be taken by police without a fight remains in the hospital with gunshot wounds he suffered after he threatened deputies with a knife, authorities say.

Grundy County Sheriff Brent Myers said 33-year-old Richard Fults was wounded after deputies went to a Stagecoach Road residence June 12 to serve a violation of probation warrant on him.

When the deputies, Sgt. Jason Coffelt and Capt. Chris Boyd, got to the home, a woman who answered the door said the man they were looking for was in a bathroom, Myers said. Coffelt and Boyd found Fults hiding in a closet, armed with a fixed-blade knife, the sheriff said.

Fults made a violent threat toward the deputies and told them "they wouldn't take him to jail alive," Myers said.

"Then he came out of the closet with a knife and he was lunging at them, trying to cut them," Myers said.

Coffelt and Boyd kept backing away and telling Fults to drop the weapon until they ran out of room as Fults continued to advance.

"That's when Sgt. Coffelt fired the shots," Myers said.

Fults was struck in both shoulders and the chest, the sheriff said.

He was airlifted to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga for treatment and was listed in critical condition throughout the weekend, Myers said.

TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said the agency is looking into the shooting and is releasing few details. She said she didn't know for certain how many shots were fired by the deputy.

Fults has not yet been charged in the incident.

"The investigation is open and ongoing and will be turned over to the district attorney general for review upon completion," Helm said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at 423-757-6569 or Subscribe to his Facebook posts at or follow him on Twitter at

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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