At the request of 1st Judicial District Attorney General Steve Finney, TBI special agents are investigating the circumstances leading to an officer-involved shooting in Washington County early Wednesday morning.
Preliminary information indicates that just before 3:00 a.m., a deputy with the Greene County Sheriff’s Office was in the parking lot of Love’s Travel Stop located along Lonesome Pine Trail in Mosheim when he observed a suspicious vehicle. Upon approaching the vehicle to investigate, the deputy identified the driver as Tyler Michael Gardner (DOB: 7/19/95), who was known to have outstanding warrants. The deputy asked Gardner to step out of the vehicle, but he refused and drove out of the parking lot. Gardner led deputies onto Interstate 81 Northbound and eventually into Washington County. At some point during the pursuit, a trooper with the Tennessee Highway Patrol began assisting. The pursuit continued until Gardner drove into a field at the intersection of 5 Oaks Road and Leesburg Road in Jonesborough, where he got out of the vehicle and ran. The trooper attempted to apprehend Gardner, who was armed with a gun. Gardner continued to resist. At some point during the struggle, for reasons still under investigation, the trooper fired shots, striking Gardner. He was pronounced dead at the scene. No officers were injured during the incident.
TBI agents are working to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigative findings will be shared with the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration. The TBI acts solely as fact-finders in its cases and does not determine whether the actions of an officer were justified in these types of matters. That decision rests with the District Attorney General requesting TBI’s involvement.
The TBI does not identify the officers involved in these types of incidents and instead refers questions of that nature to the respective department to answer as it sees fit.
Any available updates on this investigation will be posted online at TBINewsroom.com.