NEWPORT, Tenn. (WATE) — A Cocke County fugitive considered armed and dangerous was taken into custody Friday after a search lasting several hours.
Gary Ball, 35, was taken into custody around 1:00 p.m. Friday following a search by multiple agencies. Friday night, the Cocke County Sheriff’s Office shared on Facebook that Ball had been transferred to a higher security detention center.
“It’s amazing,” Cocke County Sheriff C.J. Ball said. “Law enforcement is safe. The residents of Cocke County is safe.”
The Tennessee of Bureau of Investigation said the Newport Police Department responded to a report around 6:00 a.m. of a driver in the East Broadway area who was pointing a handgun at a female passenger and waving the weapon out the window.
The driver, identified as Ball, refused to stop and a pursuit ensued. The TBI said Ball fired shots at Cocke County deputies while driving along E Highway 25/70. Around 6:30 a.m., investigators said Ball fired shots at Newport police officers, resulting in officers returning fire. No one was struck.
The TBI also said there were reports that Ball fired at least one shot in the direction of a pedestrian.
Ball abandoned the vehicle and on Fairview Street and ran from the area. He was located by authorities inside a small building on the property of a vacant home in the area of Missionary Ridge Road.
Sheriff Ball said, “Everybody gave commands, verbal commands, was able to get him to come out and he got down and then was basically taken into custody without any further incident.”
A portion of Highway 25 was shut down during the search.
As the highway was closed, Warren Nichols couldn’t make it to his job appointment.
He said, “It was probably going to be a $700 job. I’m going to try to reschedule it. I don’t know when.”
Local residents were asked to stay indoors and lock their doors and windows during the manhunt. Sheriff Ball said the public played a key role in the search by giving law enforcement several tips on Gary Ball’s whereabouts.
Authorities report they didn’t find any weapons on Gary Ball when he was captured.
“It happens everywhere,” Ben Taylor said. “I hate to say it but we’re no virgins to crime. It’s been going on here for years. Go to any town, where isn’t it going on?”
Editor’s Note: This story will be updated with additional information.