BRISTOL, Tenn. — The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the fatal shooting Thursday of a man by officers following a high-speed chase involving four law enforcement agencies from two states.
Ransom Duane McCoy, 45, of Bristol, Virginia, crashed a green Ford F-150 pickup through a chain link fence at a property on Keith Drive off Blountville Highway, according to Sullivan County, Tennessee Sheriff Wayne Anderson, who said he then “ran at an officer.”
McCoy was shot and killed, but the TBI, which is now in charge of the case, has not yet released the identities of the officers who fired the fatal shots or their agencies.
Washington County, Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman said a member of the U.S. Marshals Service, troopers with the Virginia State Police and a deputy from his department were the only law enforcement at the scene at the time of the shooting and a member of the Tennessee Highway Patrol arrived soon after.
Sullivan County District Attorney General Barry Staubus said he called in the TBI because officers discharged weapons.
The TBI will present its findings to Staubus and a grand jury to determine if excessive force was used and whether police acted properly, the attorney said Thursday near the scene of the shooting.
A homeowner, who did not want to be identified, lives two homes down from the property where the shooting took place. She told the Bristol Herald Courier that she heard sirens and the crash of a vehicle followed by six gunshots.
Staubus and the sheriffs declined comment about the number of shots and said those findings will be in the TBI report.
The initial pursuit of McCoy began after 10 a.m., when he was spotted in his vehicle on Rich Valley Road in Washington County near Bristol, Newman said.
The sheriff said McCoy had been the subject of an earlier search over the weekend after an arrest warrant was issued on a grand larceny charge. Staubus said McCoy also had three pending theft charges in Sullivan County.
Newman said that McCoy rammed the front end of Deputy David Clayman’s police cruiser with the back of his truck and caused minor damage as he escaped from the officer. Clayman was not injured.
The pursuit continued through several side routes until McCoy exited Lee Highway in the Exit 10 area and onto Interstate 81, the sheriff said. Deputies told Newman that speeds exceeded 100 miles per hour.
Troopers with the VSP then joined Washington County deputies in the pursuit that extended into Bristol, Virginia, Bristol, Tennessee, and then partially in Blountville, Tennessee, near Exit 66 when McCoy made a U-turn, traveled back into Bristol and left the interstate at Exit 74, according to Newman.
Deputies deployed spike strips at several locations in an effort to stop the truck, but the sheriff said McCoy avoided those areas and even sped through a subdivision off Blountville Highway to try and get away.
“All of the agencies used caution and discretion during the chase,” Newman said.
The TBI is now investigating two shootings by police in Bristol, Tennessee. The first came in March following a police car chase that began in Bristol, Virginia, and ended with a police detective firing at a man fleeing on foot near King University. He was not injured.
That shooting is still being investigated and a report has not been issued. The Bristol, Virginia, officer involved remains on duty pending the results.