KCSO deputy involved in accidental shooting resigns

KCSO deputy involved in accidental shooting resigns

Posted: Updated:
James Blankenship (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office) James Blankenship (source: Knox County Sheriff's Office)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The Knox County Sheriff's Office deputy who accidentally discharged his weapon at the Knox County Detention Facility Saturday night resigned late Monday morning.

James Blankenship, 39, said in his letter to Sheriff Jimmy "J.J." Jones that he was resigning for personal reasons, effective Monday, December 16.

Three other KCSO officers were in the detention facility's sally port at the time of the incident and were slightly injured from the shrapnel.

According to a KCSO incident report, Blankenship told officials he was showing the light on his weapon to another officer when it discharged, grazing Kevin Potter and resulting in ricochets that hit Patrick York and Marty Cruze.

The Knox County Sheriff's Office released surveillance video Monday afternoon showing the incident. Blankenship can be seen on the far right of the screen when his weapon discharges.

Potter was transported to UT Medical Center where he was treated and released for a leg wound. Patrick York and Marty Cruze were treated for minor leg injuries in the medical unit at the detention facility.

Blankenship was also transported to UT Medical Center, where he was treated for chest pains.

Blankenship's duty weapon was confiscated as evidence.

Blankenship's personnel file shows he was written up and counseled by a supervisor in August 2005 for leaving his weapon, two magazines, a knife and a cell phone in an unsecured gun locker at the detention facility.

The Office of Professional Standards and the Major Crimes Unit are continuing their investigation into the incident.

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