Police and Law Enforcement

Tennessee police officer shot and killed while responding to domestic disturbance

Brian Keith Stalons.

Brian Keith Stalons.  (Blount County Detention Center)

A Tennessee police officer was shot and killed Thursday after responding to a domestic disturbance call.

Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp said the officer responded with a Blount County sheriff’s deputy to the call. Sheriff James Berrong said when the two arrived, a man came out and shot the officer.

The wounded officer was transported to Tennessee Medical Center where he later died.

Crisp said the other officer fired at the suspect. He wasn’t hit and was taken into custody.

Crisp didn't identify the officer, saying some family hadn't yet been notified because they’ve been out of town. He said the man had three small children and had been with the department for several years.

According to the Knoxville News Sentinel, the suspect was identified as Brian Keith Stalons, 44, and will likely be charged Friday, the Blount County Sheriff’s Office said.

The officers who responded to the call parked their vehicle about 70 yards behind the house where the call originated from, according to the paper. Authorities took the victim, Stalons’ father, to safety and then positioned themselves behind their vehicle and waited for help to arrive.

Stalons then opened fire from his father’s garage, police said. The Maryville officer was wearing a bullet proof vest, but was shot in the neck. The Blunt County deputy and another arriving officer returned fire before Stalons was taken into custody.

The two Blount County officers were placed on administrative leave with pay, the News Sentinel reported.

The last time a Maryville officer died on duty was in Feb. 1981 when John Michael Callahan II was struck and killed by a drunken driver while riding a patrol motorcycle.

Crisp said the department would lean on each other for support.

"We live in a great place, and we're not immune to tragic events like this," he added. "We're grateful for our city, and this is a sad day for our city. We ask all people to join in our prayers."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click for more from the Knox News Sentinel.