Law enforcement officials in eastern Tennessee are ramping up their efforts to apprehend Kenneth DeHart, a 42-year-old man accused of fatally shooting one sheriff’s deputy and injuring another during a traffic stop. Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berong has confirmed that over $80,000 in reward money has been pledged for information leading to DeHart’s arrest. Warrants have been issued for DeHart for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and felon in possession of a firearm.
The Blount County Sheriff’s office has issued a warning to residents in the Wildwood area, alerting them to the substantial law enforcement presence due to a non-tactical ground search. As a result, the community is on edge as authorities intensify their efforts to locate and apprehend the suspect.
Sheriff Berrong has expressed his unwavering commitment to bringing Kenneth DeHart to justice. He assures the public that every resource is being utilized in the pursuit of the accused assailant. The severity of the incident has led to the issuance of significant reward money, which demonstrates the gravity of the situation and the urgency to ensure the safety of the community.
In addition to the main suspect, authorities are currently taking steps to hold accomplices accountable. DeHart’s brother has been arrested as an accessory and is now facing charges for assisting the suspect after the homicide. Furthermore, a woman who is believed to be the shooting suspect’s girlfriend has also been arrested in Sevier County on an accessory charge, which further emphasizes the collaborative efforts of law enforcement agencies in the region.
A somber procession of law enforcement vehicles paid tribute to Deputy McCowan as his body was transported through Maryville, approximately 17 miles south of Knoxville. The procession aimed to honor the fallen deputy’s sacrifice and offer solace to a community grappling with the tragedy.
As the investigation unfolds, the eastern Tennessee community mourns the loss of a dedicated law enforcement officer and anxiously awaits the resolution of the manhunt for Kenneth DeHart. The ongoing commitment of law enforcement officials and the outpouring of support from the community underscore the collective determination to bring justice to Deputy McCowan and ensure the safety and well-being of residents.