Neighbors identify suspect killed by East Ridge police officer; new details emerge
EAST RIDGE, Tennessee (WDEF) – News 12 has uncovered new information about a fatal shooting Friday night involving an East Ridge police officer.
It happened outside a residence near the intersection of Prigmore Road and Spriggs Street.
A long time neighbor and close friend of the suspect spoke to News 12 about what she saw and heard when the suspect was killed. She agreed to a recorded interview as long as her identity was not disclosed.
The neighbor News 12 spoke to identified the suspect as Todd Browning.
According to the neighbor, she was inside her home when she sad she heard four loud shots.
“It absolutely scared me. I came running outside and when I got out, Todd was just laying there on the ground,” she said
The woman said police then came up to the suspect and handcuffed him while he was on the ground bleeding.
“I thought he was already gone before they even turned over. It was horrible. It was awful. I’ve never seen anything like that,” she said.
Friday night while officers were still on scene investigating the incident, News 12 spoke to Alec Long who said he was actually outside in his wheelchair and witnessed the shooting.
“The suspect was running towards the policeman. He was the only officer here. All of a sudden, he raised his rifle up and fired the shots at him,” Long said.
Other eyewitnesses who wouldn’t agree to do a recorded interview told News 12 the suspect was coming toward the officer but that the suspect stopped and never went out into the street where the officer was located. Every witness who spoke to News 12 confirmed that the officer shot the suspect multiple times at close rang with what appeared to be an AR-15 rifle.
According to investigators, the incident started when police were first called to a nearby AutoZone store in reference to a man causing a disturbance while yielding a knife.
“East Ridge Police Department then located the suspect at a residence on Prigmore Road. Upon confronting the suspect, he was found to be holding a weapon and refused officer commands. The suspect approached the officer and was fire upon for failure to yield to commands,” said Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Mat Lea.
Friday night, witnesses did confirm to news 12 tat the suspect had something in his hand when he approached the officer.
The neighbor who knew the suspect told News 12 she wished there was a different outcome to the situation.
“That was a horrible thing. He has kids and his wife. No one should have to go through what his family is going through. This is an incident that could have been handled so differently,” she said.
So far the identity of the officer has not been disclosed.
News 12 will have more information as it becomes available.