Veteran Deputy Holds on to Life After Critical Wound in Tennessee

A welfare check has resulted in the shooting of a 27-year veteran Tennessee deputy on Feb. 23, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Newsroom (TBI Newsroom).

“Deputy Hinkle is very respected—he is a father, grandfather, brother, and also a brother of our agency,” Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said.

Hinkle and other officers arrived at the home of 44-year-old Jackie Scott Pendergrass on Saturday morning, Feb. 23. Once they arrived, Pendergrass fired at least one shot, forcing the deputies to scramble for cover, according to TBI Newsroom.

Pendergrass’s gun then went off for a second time, prompting returned fire from the officers. Somewhere in the exchange of fire, Hinkle was shot.

Pendergrass then barricaded himself incide for several hours of negotiations, which were in vain as when entry was made into the home, he was found dead. Specifics about Pendergrass’s cause of death were not given, nor was the reason for the welfare check.

Pendergrass’s motive for the shooting is still under investigation, according to a press conference.

Love and Prayers for the Deputy

Cassidy said in the press conference that the officers were pinned down at some point but they managed to get the 65-year-old deputy away from the gunfire. The Carter County Sheriff’s Office, Kingsport Police Department, the FBI, and many other departments responded to the incident, reported the Herald Courier.

“Anybody that’s been in law enforcement knows the camaraderie, the brotherhood,” Cassidy said. “There’s love for each and every officer that works there … We respond as fast as we can get there to protect our officers.”

Cassidy said that after losing Hinkle, there has also been an overwhelming response from neighboring agencies to assist.

Video of a prayer vigil that was held for the deputy on Feb. 24 was uploaded by CBS news affiliate WJHL. Included in the vigil were officers, children, and other members of the community in hopeful communion. Before the video’s conclusion, the vigil took to singing Amazing Grace.

PRAYER VIGIL FOR DEPUTY HINKLE: Several people from the community are showing their support for Sullivan County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Hinkle, who remains in critical condition today in the hospital after a shooting.

Posted by WJHL on Sunday, 24 February 2019