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Chattanooga police work the scene of an overnight shooting in the 300 block of Shawnee Trail in Brainerd.

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Daniel Hendrix

The Hamilton County corrections deputy who was shot and killed by police on March 30 had violated excessive force policies three times within the last two years, records show.

Daniel Hendrix, 26, was celebrating with two off-duty female Chattanooga police officers at a home on the 300 block of Shawnee Trail when, for reasons that are still unclear, he became "enraged," picked up a personal firearm, and began to threaten the women.

Both women fled the home, and one called 911 at 1:26 a.m. Two additional Chattanooga police officers arrived on scene and found Hendrix holding the weapon, but he refused to comply with verbal commands to drop it and one of the responding officers fired at him at least four times.

The officers gave him medical aid until he was transported by EMS to Erlanger hospital, where he died.

The first excessive-use-of-force violation sustained against Hendrix occurred on June 30, 2015, for his use of pepper spray. The circumstances of that incident were unclear from his personnel file, but he received a written reprimand and was retrained afterward.

Less than two months later, he was arrested on an assault charge and suspended by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office after an incident in which he struck a female inmate at Silverdale Correctional Facility.

Hendrix said he was escorting inmate Leslie Hayes, who at one point refused to lift her leg to allow him to remove her leg restraints, according to court documents. He said he tried to lift her leg to remove the restraint, but she began kicking him.

Hendrix said he tried to stop her from kicking him by placing her on the ground, but she began spitting in his face.

"Out of reaction I struck inmate Hayes with a closed fist to the facial area multiple times," he wrote in a report of the incident. "Inmate Hayes continued to spit on me and kick me in the face, so I deployed my [pepper] spray in a short burst on inmate Hayes facial area."

Hendrix was suspended for 40 hours without pay and scheduled for anger management training, which he completed on May 25, 2016. A sheriff's spokesman said the criminal charge against Hendrix was dismissed because Hayes didn't show for the hearing.

He received a letter from superiors notifying him of the decision, which also read, "any further incidents in this regard may lead to further corrective disciplinary action."

The next year in July, he again was found to have used excessive force and attended a pre-discipline due process hearing with Sheriff Jim Hammond on Sept. 20, 2016.

In regards to that incident, he received a written reprimand, but no further action was taken. A sheriff's office spokesman did not clarify the circumstances surrounding that case or the first one in 2015.

Before going to work for the sheriff's office, Hendrix graduated from Ooltewah High School in 2009 and worked several jobs, including a stint as a Walden security guard.

His family has declined interviews, but his obituary said he is survived by a fiancée, Afton Yates; parents, Dan and Kim Hendrix; and two brothers, David and Jacob Hendrix.

He began his time as a corrections deputy in the jail in downtown Chattanooga on July 29, 2013, and was consistently praised by supervisors as a dependable, quality employee.

"Officer Hendrix puts forth his all on a consistant [sic] basis, and uses his knowledge to teach other officers with less experience," his supervisor wrote in July 2015.

He was also awarded the sheriff's office corrections officer of the month award in September 2014 for his performance.

"Your actions truly exemplify the role of any public servant, and are in keeping with the highest standards of professionalism of both the Corrections Division and the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office," the award read. "Thank you for a job well done."

Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at egienapp@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6731. Follow him on Twitter @emmettgienapp.

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