Suspect shot, killed in Marion County police pursuit

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents are probing the circumstances that led to a deadly officer-involved shooting overnight Monday in Marion County.

Preliminary reports indicate a South Pittsburg police officer attempted to stop a vehicle. When the driver refused to stop, deputies with the Marion County Sheriff's Department pursued, TBI spokesperson Susan Niland said in a press release issued Tuesday.

The pursuit continued until the vehicle became disabled on some railroad tracks. Niland said reports indicate as officers approached the vehicle, they heard a shot fired, saw the driver with a gun and one deputy fired his weapon.

(READ MORE: Fatal struggle between man and Hamilton County deputy detailed in newly released TBI records)

As officers continued toward the vehicle, they found the driver dead from a gunshot wound, she said. The driver's body was taken to the state Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy.

The TBI did not identify the driver.

Marion County Sheriff Ronnie "Bo" Burnett said Tuesday in a telephone interview the deputy involved - whom he would not identify - is on paid leave until more is known about the shooting. The officer who fired the shot has several years of experience on the force, he said.

Burnett said he was on the scene of the Monday shooting and that the driver who was killed had no identification on him. The sheriff said he turned the scene over to state agents who are conducting the investigation.

(READ MORE: TBI investigating fatal officer-involved shooting in Franklin County)

Niland said TBI agents will continue to work to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews.

Throughout the process, investigative findings will be shared with 12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor for his review and consideration, the release states. The TBI acts solely as fact finders in its cases and does not determine whether the actions of an officer were justified in these types of matters; that decision rests with the district attorney general requesting the TBI's involvement, officials said.

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