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By DAMON LAWRENCE
An officer-involved shooting over the weekend left a Swan Pond man dead, a sheriff’s deputy on administrative leave and the victim’s family wondering.
The incident happened Saturday night on Quarry Road. Roane County Sheriff Jack Stockton said Deputy Dustin Hensley shot and killed David Dickey after Dickey pulled out a gun.
Stockton said Hensley responded to 220 Quarry Road to investigate a report of a man shooting a gun.
Roane County detective Bryan Walker leaves near that address, and according to authorities, identified Dickey as the person firing the shots and called for the patrol unit.
Stockton gave the following account of Hensley’s encounter with Dickey.
“He met with Mr. Dickey, asked him had he heard any shots being fired, and Mr. Dickey said yes, it was him that had been shooting a firearm at some deer in his potato garden,” Stockton said. “The officer asked him to not be shooting a weapon because it was reckless to be shooting in the dark, and that it wasn’t deer season.”
Dickey then threatened the officer, according to Stockton.
“The guy said, ‘Well why don’t I tell you something,’” Stockton said. “He said, ‘Why don’t I just kill you.’”
Dickey pulled out a gun, Stockton said, and, “that’s when the officer pulled his weapon and fired at Mr. Dickey.”
Dickey was airlifted to University of Tennessee Medical Center. He died upon arrival.
When asked if Dickey fired a shot during the encounter with the deputy, Stockton said, “Not that I’m aware of.”
Judy Dickey, a cousin of the deceased man, said she’s puzzled by the incident.
“I thinks it’s a shame,” she said. “I don’t think that David drew, or was even attempting to shoot him.”
She said her cousin was well liked by the people he grew up with.
“This past year, David came to our family reunion,” she said. “It was great for him to be there, and everybody was glad to see him.”
“David would have never shot at that cop,” she added. “Never.”
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the incident.
“They’re still looking into the evidence, the shell casings on the ground, the distance between them, the officer statement and stuff of that nature,” Stockton said.
The TBI involvement is not unusual. TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm said they investigate nearly all officer-involved shootings.
The investigation is expected to last several weeks, Helm said. The findings will be turned over to the district attorney general’s office.
“That will be left up to the TBI to determine whether it’s justified or not,” Stockton said. “But right now from talking to the officer and everything, it appears that he was defending himself against a man with a gun.”
Stockton said Hensley is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
Helm wouldn’t say if Hensley had been formally interviewed yet by the TBI.
“Not commenting on who we’ve interviewed,” she wrote in an e-mail.