This staff file photo shows the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Nashville.

State and local authorities on Wednesday released only a few details about the death of the man who allegedly tried to run over Marion County sheriff's deputies with his pickup truck Tuesday night, causing them to fire on him.

The deputies were responding to complaints from two Whiteside, Tenn., residents about someone who was "drunk and disorderly," Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Susan Niland said via email.

"Early Tuesday evening that individual called making threats to law enforcement officers," Niland said.

"When deputies with the Marion County Sheriff's Department responded, that individual drove toward them in a vehicle at a high rate of speed," she said. "The deputies fired at the vehicle. The subject continued at a high rate of speed and crashed."

Niland identified the man as William John Berner, 59, of Whiteside. He was pronounced dead at the scene, she said.

Berner's body was sent to Nashville for an autopsy, according to Marion County officials.

Marion County Detective Gene Hargis said Berner crashed his Ford F-350 pickup truck close to a railroad overpass on State Highway 134, about a half mile from where the incident started at a home on Parker Lane.

Hargis said the three deputies were out of their patrol vehicles. They jumped in their cars and started after the pickup, but Berner had already crashed when they caught up to him moments later.

The Tennessee Highway Patrol also responded but was not named as participanting.

Niland and Hargis said the officers involved in the shooting are not being named at this point.

"It is TBI's policy not to name officers in officer-involved shootings and instead defer to the individual agency to provide that information as they determine to [do] so," Niland said.

Meanwhile, the investigation is continuing. Information collected by TBI agents will be turned over the 12th Judicial District Attorney General Mike Taylor, Niland said.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at or 423-757-6569.