NEW CENTER, Tenn. (WATE) — A Sevierville Police K-9 was shot late Friday in the New Center community of Sevier County, according to Sevier County Sheriff Michael Hodges. The TBI released more information on Saturday that the shooting that involved officers left one person dead and one injured.
TBI identified the person who died as David Wright, 64. According to the TBI, an autopsy will be done to determine the cause and manner of Wright’s death. Sevierville Police said Wright was not the person that officers were looking for before the incident.
The TBI reports that it happened around 8:15 p.m. when law enforcement were at a house on Holly Drive, off Old Newport Highway, to follow up on an incident involving a felony evading charge. The identity of the person being arrested was not released.
According to the TBI, when officers approached the residence, there was an exchange of gunfire between someone inside the residence and officers outside. The circumstances are still being investigated.
Hodges said the K-9 was taken to an area veterinary hospital and was in surgery. Sevier Police Department identified the Sevierville Police K-9 as Hank, a Belgian Malinois. Hank’s surgery went well and he returned home to rest with his partner, Officer Jordan Paul, the department said.
Two people were also seriously injured, Hodges said. The TBI released Saturday morning that one person was dead inside the home. The identity of the injured person and the cause of their injuries were not released.
The TBI said two sheriff’s deputies and a city officer were transported for minor, non-gunshot-related injuries.
Because it is an officer-involved shooting, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is handling the case.
While police have not said if anyone has been charged for shooting K-9 Hank, a 2022 Tennessee law called the “Joker’s Law” specifically addresses anyone knowingly killing or causing serious injury to a police dog. An amendment that was added to the bill before it passed makes is a a Class D felony to injure or kill a police dog, fire dog, search and rescue dog, service animal, or police horse.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story has been updated.