Rhea deputy shot during domestic call, one charged

Photo contributed by the Rhea County Sheriff's Office / Keith Miler, 55, is charged with three counts of attempt to commit criminal homicide, aggravated assault and domestic assault related to allegations that he shot a county deputy in the leg and endangered two city police officers.

A Rhea County, Tennessee, sheriff's deputy was shot Thursday night during a domestic disturbance call, and a suspect is in jail.

Authorities said a deputy and two Dayton police officers answered a 10:15 p.m. Thursday domestic call on Morgan Springs Road, where a man had barricaded himself inside a room in the home.

A teenage member of the family who lived at the home called 911, according to 12th Judicial District Attorney Mike Taylor.

Authorities have charged Keith Miller, 55, with three counts of criminal attempt to commit criminal homicide and aggravated assault, all felonies, as well as domestic assault, a misdemeanor, jail records show. Miller is being held without bond.

A Friday statement issued by the sheriff's office said a woman answered the door when police arrived.

"There were three officers in the house, one deputy and two city officers, a male and a female. [Miller] had barricaded himself inside the bedroom," Taylor said Friday.

The three officers were inside the home talking to Miller, who was behind a closed door, Taylor said.

"They kept telling him to open the door and he wouldn't, and apparently they pushed the door open and that's when he shot," Taylor said.

The deputy was struck in the upper leg with a round from what was described as a large-caliber semi-automatic handgun while the two city officers escaped unharmed. The deputy was treated at Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga and released to recover at home, Taylor said.

No gunshots were fired by any of the three officers during the incident, sheriff's officials said.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the investigation, according to agency spokesman Josh DeVine.

An arraignment date has not been set, officials said.

Contact Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.