WJTV News Channel 12 - Eye Witness: Officer involved shooting 'terrifying'

Eye Witness: Officer involved shooting 'terrifying'

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BLUFF CITY, TN (WJHL) -

Yesterday was anything but a typical Sunday cruise for Wallace Owen and his wife.

"All of the sudden of a Sullivan County car came up and went around us.  Then a few minutes later this car came up out of the ditch and hit the officer.  Then it ran into a truck and as soon as it hit the truck, the officers started shooting," said witness Wallace Owens.

Owens and his wife were just 2 cars away from the action on the 100 block of Egypt Road in Bluff City.

"It just happened so fast.  The car just jumped up out of the ditch.  It was quick," said Owens.

Owens says in a matter of seconds gun shots rang out.  He says he didn't know exactly what was going on and says his wife was terrified.

"It was pretty scary because somebody could have gotten killed, they really could have," said Owens.

Sullivan County Sheriff Wayne Anderson says officers originally responded to scene about a car crash involving Roger Street.  The Sheriff says when officers arrived Street got back into his car and acted as if he was going to try to escape.

"Officers ordered him out of the car but he did not comply with commands," said Sheriff Anderson.

Sheriff Anderson says Street then revved his engine and attempted to flee.

"In an attempt to get away he hit the Bluff City officer on the scene, he also hit the SCSO officer pinning him," said Sheriff Anderson.

The Sheriff says that's when 3 of the 4 officers at the scene opened fire.

"They were very much in danger last night," said Sheriff Anderson.

The Sheriff says it was an intense situation.

"Street placed everyone in fear of their life when he made that attempt to escape," said Sheriff Anderson.

Wallace Owens agrees.

"All the shooting and we didn't know if somebody else maybe got in the way and got hurt.  It was dangerous," said Owens.

Sheriff Anderson says the two officers that were hit have minor injuries.  The sheriff says Street also injured a civilian.  At this time we do not know the civilian's condition.

Sheriff Anderson also says Street has had several brushes with the law.  Street was arrested in May in Sullivan County for driving under the influence.  The sheriff says Street also lost his license in 2007 because of another DUI.  He says Street has also faced charges in Virginia for assaulting an officer, reckless driving, and being a fugitive from justice.

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