Suspected Bledsoe County prowler recovering after being shot by resident

A 33-year-old Pikeville, Tenn., man faces multiple charges and is recovering from being shot last weekend by a local resident while he was on the run from authorities.

Wesley Brandon Siever, of Pikeville, is being held without bond on charges he accumulated last weekend while, authorities say, he fled from deputies, stole clothes from a home and broke into a truck at another home before encountering the unidentified owner who was armed with a .22-caliber rifle.

Bledsoe County Sheriff Jimmy Morris said the situation could have ended much worse. Morris was pulling into the home's driveway just as the shot was fired.

photo Bledsoe County Sheriff Jimmy Morris

"As I pulled in, I heard the gunshot," he said Friday. Siever, armed with a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, had been hit by a bullet in the right calf and was taken into custody by the arriving officers, Morris said.

"He's in jail and he's fine," Morris said Friday.

The series of events leading up to the shooting started around 5:30 p.m. CST on Feb. 6, according to Deputy George Hodge.

Hodge said he got a call that Siever, whom Hodge knew to be wanted on warrants, was walking toward Pikeville on State Highway 30 on Dayton Mountain and that he might be armed.

Hodge made contact with Siever at the intersection of Porch Rock Road, pulled over in front of him, got out and ordered him to put a book bag he was carrying on the ground. Siever asked, "Why?" and refused to drop the bag, the deputy said.

After a repeat of the exchange, Hodge told Siever there were outstanding warrants for his arrest and Siever put a hand in the pocket of his jacket and started "jerking on something trying to get something out of his pocket, and I told him to get his hands where I could see them and he refused to do so," Hodge said.

"He started backing away from me and still jerking on something in his pocket, and I drew down on him with my service weapon and told him to get down on the ground," he said. Siever turned his back to Hodge, still trying to remove whatever he had in his pocket.

Hodge said he reholstered his weapon and started to tackle Siever but the man fled into the woods, sparking a search with police dogs and more deputies that continued for several hours. Phone calls started coming in from residents who reported seeing Siever.

As a resident reported that Siever might have been hiding in a well house, another called to report that a man matching Siever's description broke into her home, took some clothes "and ran out the back door," Hodge said.

Then another nearby resident called, saying someone was breaking into a truck in the yard and that her son was outside with Siever, he said.

Her son had Siever at gunpoint and had told him not to move, Hodge said.

"He saw the firearm on [Siever] and it was visible to the homeowner and he told him not to make any sudden moves or he would shoot," Hodge said. "As the sheriff entered the driveway with the K-9 unit [Siever] lunged, and when he lunged the homeowner fired a single shot out of the rifle, striking [Siever] in the right calf."

The bullet passed all the way through Siever's calf and he was treated at Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga before being returned early Sunday to the Bledsoe County Detention Center. No charges are being filed against the homeowner, Hodge said.

Siever was charged with evading arrest, burglary, aggravated burglary, possession of burglary tools, unlawful possession of a weapon, three counts of possession of schedule II drugs, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. The schedule II drugs were identified as oxycodone, Adderall and methamphetamine, he said.

Hodge said it's only the second time he's been forced to draw his weapon in four-and-a-half years as a deputy.

"I never had to use it, thank the Lord," Hodge said.

"I think my officers did a great job," Morris said on Friday.

Siever remains in the Bledsoe County Jail without bond and has a hearing set for March 28.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at [email protected] or or or 423-757-6569.