A months-long investigation, a plea hearing, and the 18-year sentence for a suspect are enough for a Knoxville police officer to share what happened when he was shot at during a pursuit in July.
Although he lived through the experience, watching the dashcam video of the 3-minute chase showed him what really happened. For starters, it’s how Officer Dean Ray learned he was shot at multiple times – not just once.
“I was actually heading out to a different call as I passed by that, it’s always… usually the worst things always in the back of your mind of what could happen,” said Ray.
In his 23-year career with the Knoxville Police Department, this was the first time Ray says he was ever shot at.
Prosecutors said on July 17 around 2:30 a.m., Ray was on patrol when he heard an alarm coming from Time Out Deli on North Central Street. He saw Ryan Stephen Stiles walk out the front door of the closed business, jump into a car and drive off.
Ray began pursuing the vehicle and prosecutors said Stiles fired four shots at the officer and swerved into oncoming traffic, nearly hitting another officer. Stiles eventually got out of the car and ran off, dropping his hat.
“A lot of times, staying calm helps the whole demeanor of the situation. If you explode it doesn’t help things, a lot of times,” said Ray.
In dashcam video released by the Knox County District Attorney’s Office, Ray’s voice stays calm, even during the pursuit – with speeds upwards of 80 mph.
Ray says because of his calm demeanor, when he first reported what was happening, there was confusion because he sounded so calm.
“A fair amount of people don’t want anything to do with us, because anytime they’re exposed to us something’s gone wrong in their life. So, it’s just something… being calm just tends to help with abrasiveness,” said Ray.
In a plea hearing, Stiles, 40, was convicted of aggravated assault and evading arrest. He was originally charged with attempted murder. Ray was in court for the plea hearing where Stiles was sentenced to 18 years in prison.
“It gave closure, it’s done now, move right on,” said Ray.