KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) —The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has released the identity of the suspect who died after leading law enforcement on a multi-county pursuit after an attempted traffic stop in Knox County.
Friday afternoon, the TBI identified the suspect who died as James Robert Jackson, 40.
KCSO said the pursuit began on Thursday after deputies with the KCSO Narcotics Unit attempted a traffic stop for Jackson, who was a suspect and a person of interest in an overdose death, in the area of Western Avenue at 12:30 p.m. Jackson pulled a gun on deputies before fleeing, according to KCSO.
The event prompted the soft lockdown of an area school that has since been lifted.
Jackson was pursued by KCSO’s Airwatch, The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Oak Ridge Police Department.
The pursuit ended in Loudon County where Jackson wrecked his vehicle on Highway 321 near Parkway Drive in Lenoir City around 1:35 p.m. According to LCSO, Jackson put a gun to his head, and deputies from the LCSO, KCSO and BCSO began negotiating with him. The BCSO SWAT Team used “Less-Lethal rounds” in an attempt to get the driver to drop his weapon.
Jackson then sustained a “self-inflicted gunshot wound” and was taken to the hospital according to LCSO. He was declared dead at 1:58 p.m. according to DA Russell Johnson.
Because of the multiple law enforcement agencies involved from three counties, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was called to handle the investigation. An autopsy will be performed at the Knox County Forensics Center. Johnson said that an official cause of death will be determined after a review of the autopsy and the TBI investigation.
An email shared with WATE shows Karns High School notifying parents Thursday that a soft lockdown was put in place because of a recommendation from KCSO due to an event occurring in the community. The email added that during a soft lockdown, students are allowed to move within the building, but no one is allowed to enter or leave the building. KCSO confirmed the lockdown was in relation to the police pursuit.
The soft lockdown at Karns High School has since been lifted, according to a Knox County Schools spokesperson.