Family: Suspect killed in shootout was getting life on track

Family of suspect killed in shootout says he was working to turn his life around

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Sgt. Mike Ledbetter (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) Sgt. Mike Ledbetter (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)
Sgt. Mike Ledbetter's ambulance arrives at UT Medical Center. Sgt. Mike Ledbetter's ambulance arrives at UT Medical Center.
"He was a very loved person. He loved his family, he was doing real well and, just, his past caught up with him," said Jordan's father, Rick Camp. "He was a very loved person. He loved his family, he was doing real well and, just, his past caught up with him," said Jordan's father, Rick Camp.
Jordan Camp (Source: Family) Jordan Camp (Source: Family)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knox County sheriff's officer who was shot Thursday during a shootout with a man holed up in a trailer is recovering in a Knoxville hospital.

Sheriff's office officials say Sgt. Mike Ledbetter is the Intensive Care Unit at UT Medical Center.

Sgt. Ledbetter was wounded during a standoff that started when Jordan Camp, 21, ran into a trailer park to escape deputies who attempted to pull him over. Camp was killed in the shootout.

A four-hour surgery was performed Thursday night to repair damage from a potentially life-threatening injury to Ledbetter's lower left leg. Officials say more surgeries will be necessary.

Ledbetter suffered a wound that damaged a major artery, causing him to lose a substantial amount of blood. 

The sheriff's office also released details of the preliminary investigation into the standoff and shootout that killed Camp.

Investigators say officers fired approximately 47 rounds. It is not yet known how many bullets struck Camp, but those details will come in an autopsy.

An initial report shows that Sgt. Ledbetter may have been struck by a ricocheting round. Officials have not said if the bullet came from a gun fired by Camp or by other officers.

The surgeon told officials there were the numerous particles in the officer's leg, but they were so shattered there may be no way to recover them and determine which gun fired the round. 

Ledbetter is 41 years old.

He joined the KCSO in January 16, 1995 and was promoted to sergeant in January 2008. 

Ledbetter serves as a sergeant on patrol and is a member of the SWAT Team. 

Authorities say during the standoff Camp said he wanted to harm himself, then said he would hurt officers.

The search and standoff lasted about three hours.

Family describes Camp as a recovering addict

Camp's family described him as a young man who struggled with drug addiction, but was working to get his life back on track.

According to incident reports, Camp was wanted for an assault charge from an incident Sunday night. That's what led officers to him Thursday.

He was previously arrested for assault, public intoxication and served time in jail for violating his probation.

"He was a very loved person. He loved his family, he was doing real well and, just, his past caught up with him," said Jordan's father, Rick Camp.

Rick Camp said he wants to remember his son like he was when he was with his family, not as the young man who struggled with drug addiction for years.

"He was a teenager that got into the drug scene and he wasn't the same teenager anymore," he said.

But Camp said his son was getting his life back on track - sober for eight months. An alleged assault incident Sunday night led to a warrant out for Jordan's arrest.

"He was so afraid of jail that he took off," Camp said.

Jordan was in jail in the winter for violating probation, and as Camp watched the standoff on TV, he knew it wouldn't end well.

"I knew it was my son. I knew it was," the father said. "He wasn't going to go back to jail. He was either going to kill himself or have someone do it for him."

Incident reports show the mobile home belonged to John Casey, a man Camp said tried to befriend his son.

"He tried to help Jordan, but he didn't know how to help Jordan," Rick Camp said.

Camp said his son stayed at John's from time to time.

"John's a gun collector, so he probably found two or three pistols, rifles things like that. They said Jordan barricaded himself in the bedroom with the weapons. He wasn't going to come out of there," he said.

Camp said his son was far from perfect, but he was loved.

"Sometimes your past comes back to haunt you and that was happening to him," he said. "That they see there, that's not the real Jordan. He was a very good kid, a very good son, a very good brother and we're going to really miss him."

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