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Knox County Sheriff’s officer wounded in Northshore shootout

Officers remained on the lookout as of press time Monday for two Hispanic suspects in an older model white van with a ladder on top that were involved in a shooting that wounded a Knox County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Knox County Sheriff Tim Hutchison said undercover officer Cory Johnson remained in stable condition at UT Medical Center after sustaining a gunshot wound to the shoulder.

Hutchison said Johnson was traveling east on Northshore Drive, about a mile west of the Concord Road intersection, when he noticed a white van pulled over to the side of the road.

“He pulled up behind the van, got on the radio and called in a code twenty, which is for a broken down vehicle,” Hutchison said. “Like any good officer, he was going to see if he could render assistance.”

One of the Hispanic men was waving Johnson off, as if everything were okay and they didn’t need any assistance, Hutchison said.

Hutchison said Johnson, a veteran of several years with the KCSO, exited his car and turned on his blue lights, which were set in the grille of the car.

“That’s when everything started happening,” he said.

Hutchison said Johnson heard a woman screaming for help and said Johnson saw a woman of unknown ethnicity being held down in the back of the van.

“We don’t know if she was the victim of a kidnapping,” Hutchison said.

A man exited the van with what Hutchison said was probably a shotgun and fired on Johnson.

“Based on the spread pattern of the round into the officer’s unit, we’re pretty sure it was a shotgun,” he said. “We don’t know what gauge it is.”

Hutchison said Johnson returned fire eight to ten times, but it was unknown whether any of the suspects sustained injury.

Hutchison said Johnson indicated the two men were of Hispanic origin, but didn’t have any information on the ages of the suspects.“We’re still talking to him,” he said.

The van was last seen heading east on Northshore Drive. Officials have warned the public to be on the lookout for a van meeting the suspects’ description.

Johnson was named KCSO Officer of the Year in 2003.


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