More to the story is developing as Knox County Sheriff’s Office released a video of the bodycam footage from a Deputy-involved shooting earlier this month on Old Emory Road, with Sheriff Tom Spangler speaking at a press conference on the video.
Within the video, two perspectives on what happened.
No one was hurt in the shooting, as bodycam footage reveals the KCSO deputy was responding to a report of a burglary when he fired his weapon.
Spangler said the officer did everything right. The weeks-long investigation, he says, has become a lesson for other officers and the public.
“You saw how quick that was. This is what our officers contend with everyday whenever someone is approaching them with a gun or a weapon,” said Spangler.
Showing the video at normal speed, then in slow motion, Spangler said the officer followed protocol by attempting to ring the doorbell, check windows, and check the backdoor of the home.
Spangler said when the officer arrived at the house, he heard screaming from inside and fired when he saw someone inside the house was holding their own gun.
“Somebody who’s inside their home thinking they’re doing the right thing, you’ve put yourself into a situation that you don’t want to be in,” said Spangler.
At the other end of it, a Knox County corrections officer, Eric Ludwig.
Ludwig says the screaming the officer heard when he arrived was Ludwig’s sister yelling, afraid that someone was trying to burglarize their home.
“She [Ludwig’s sister] sees his pants legs, she says ‘He’s wearing black pants and black boots’. So, what goes through my mind is, ‘somebody’s trying to get in the house,'” said Ludwig.
At the time of the incident, Ludwig said he was home with his sister, her baby, and his mother. Ludwig said their doorbell is broken, so they did not realize the officer was attempting to ring the doorbell.
Ludwig said their neighborhood has a history of burglaries and believed it was happening to them.
“I didn’t know that was an officer… I would have never came to the back door, if he would’ve said ‘Sheriff’s Office.’ That’s one of my brothers, I would’ve let him in… got him something to drink, even,” said Ludwig.
Speaking out, watching the bodycam video for the first time since it happened, Ludwig says he’s still emotional. He recalls even minutes after the officer fired at him, both of them were visibly upset.
At Friday’s press conference, Spangler addressed the “what if”, that the situation could have been worse.
“We could’ve as easily had two funerals last week and I’m so thankful that didn’t happen,” said Spangler.
As for Ludwig, he says he doesn’t blame the officer.
He wanted to tell his story because he hopes an incident like the one he experienced won’t happen again. He says he even hoped the Sheriff’s Office would’ve reached out to his family after the frightening night.
Both Ludwig and the officer were not put on leave during the investigation. Ludwig says he took a week off for himself and Spangler says the officer was back at work the next day.