Cocke County man shot, killed in confrontation with officers

Local News

A Cocke County man was shot and killed Monday morning during a confrontation with police officers and deputies.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says one of their agents along with officers from the Newport Police Department and Cocke County Sheriff’s Office went to a home in the 2000 block of Highway 160 in Newport to serve an arrest warrant on William David Williamson, 61.

Williamson was wanted on 14 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and the TBI says he was known to have weapons.

Officers entered the home around 5 a.m. and found Williamson. The TBI says he drew a weapon, which resulted in a Cocke County deputy and a Newport police officer firing shots, hitting Williamson. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

“What we can say is that he did pose an immediate threat to the officers the way he pulled the weapon in their presence, and that the officers used reasonable force in the protection of themselves and wound up unfortunately having to go above and beyond the calling of their duty in order to protect themselves,” said Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes.

No officers were injured in the incident. The sheriff says he stands behind his officers’ actions. 

“At this point this was a team operation. This was an operation that involved the whole team, and it’s not important who pulled the trigger, what’s important is that they support each other and that they were all justified in their actions,” said Sheriff Fontes. 

Newport’s police chief tells us, per policy, his police officer involved is on administrative leave with pay. The Cocke County Sheriff says his officers aren’t on any type of leave.

TBI special agents and forensic scientists are gathering interviews and evidence at the scene. The officers involved have not yet been identified.

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