Wounded Knox Co. deputy goes home; search for suspects continues

Wounded Knox Co. deputy goes home; search for suspects continues

Officer Cory Johnson Officer Cory Johnson

February 28, 2006
(UPDATED)

FARRAGUT (WATE) -- The search for three suspects continues Tuesday after a Knox County sheriff's deputy was wounded in an early afternoon shooting.

Authorities say 34-year-old undercover narcotics Officer Cory Johnson was shot once with a shotgun around 12:45 p.m.. He was shot while on patrol on Northshore Drive in West Knox County near The Cove at Concord Park.

Johnson was released from UT Medical Center around 7 p.m. Tuesday evening.

According to Sheriff Tim Hutchison, a pellet from the shotgun blast remains in Johnson's left shoulder, but he does not require surgery at this time.

Meanwhile, the search for suspects continues. Sheriff's deputies and police officers from Knox, Blount and Anderson counties are searching for two male suspects and a female suspect. The suspects are believed to be driving a late 1980s white Dodge or Chevy van with a ladder mounted to the top.

The sheriff's office says Johnson saw the van apparently broken down on the side of Northshore. Johnson radioed in about the van and attempted to stop his unmarked Ford Explorer and help.

Johnson turned on his blue lights and approached the van. He heard a woman screaming for help and saw two men holding her down in the back of the van.

One of the male suspects fired a shotgun at Johnson, hitting him once. He fired back with between eight to 10 rounds.

Sheriff's department spokeswoman Martha Dooley said Johnson gave a description of the suspects to other officers.

The perimeter gates at Bearden High School were closed for a time after the shooting, based on information given to security about the search for the suspects.

Johnson was awarded officer of the year in 2003 after he arrested a drug suspect who shot at him. That suspect later admitted he was on his way to kill someone over a drug deal gone bad.

He's been with the sheriff's office since 1998. He was put on patrol in 2001.

He and his wife have three children.

Investigators ask anyone with information about the suspects to call 911.

6 News Reporters Jeff Lennox, Amelia Graham and Catharyn Campbell contributed to this report.

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