McMinn Officers Collar Suspect as He Pulls Gun

ATHENS, TN (WDEF-TV)–A Charleston man with a long criminal record is behind bars in McMinn county.
Ricky Lee Womac tried to pull a gun on arresting officers in a Wal-Mart store Saturday.
The incident was captured on a police body camera.
SHERIFF JOE GUY, MCMINN COUNTY "You don’t pull a gun out and cock it unless you’re going to shoot it ..so he sure wasn’t there to wish anybody a good day, I’m sure."

McMinn Sheriff Joe Guy says fast work by the officers headed-off what could have been a tragic incident at the Athens Wal-Mart.
Three county officers approached 44 year old Ricky Lee Womac in a checkout line.
He had a warrant out for his arrest.
Womac told them to let him first pay for the things in his basket.

SHERIFF JOE GUY, MCMINN COUNTY And as he took his left hand with the cash in it and put it in his pocket..when his hand came back out he had a firearm in it. And he cocked the firearm and made an attempt to shoot the officers."

That part of the encounter was captured on a body camera worn by Deputy Paul Redrup. It shows Womac’s hands cocking a 22-caliber magnum pistol..just moments before Redrup took quick action.

SHERIFF GUY "And luckily officer Redrup had positioned himself properly according to his training and was able to get ahold of the firearm and so the hammer actually came down on officer Redrup’ hand…and kept it from firing. A brief struggle ensued and they were able to take him into custody."

The sheriff says there were a lot of people in the immediate area.

SHERIFF GUY "They would have been justified in using deadly force and shooting Mr. Womac…because of what he did." "They took on an armed and dangerous felon who was trying to shoot them, but put their firearms away and left their firearms alone for the sake and safety of the people around them."

Officer Redrup was issued the body camera on Friday—as a test. Sheriff Guy says he’s looking to buy some for his department.

Womac was released from prison last April after serving 25 years for the murder of a fellow inmate in the McMinn County jail.
The body camera is the only one currently being used by the department.

Categories: Crime, Local News, McMinn County

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