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Departments : Shots Fired

Shots Fired: Spring Hill, Tennessee 11•05•2003

Officer Scott Magro’s father was killed in the line of duty. Decades later he faced his own deadly confrontation with a suspect.

July 22, 2009  |  by - Also by this author

Career Criminal

"Spring Hill to 219, that license plate comes back to Ronald Brown of Columbia.”

This was the guy. A career criminal, Brown had prior convictions for robbery, assault, and aggravated assault. On active parole at the time of the pursuit, Brown was also wanted for two counts of assaults with a deadly weapon and being an ex-con in possession of a firearm.

This is what Magro had trained for, why he had spent his nights performing the mundane duties associated with being a small town police officer, to take down a dangerous threat to the community. While his mind was wholly committed to the pursuit, Magro was fully aware that the man they were pursuing had already fired a gun at his sister and pistol whipped his girlfriend. There was a very good likelihood that gunfire might be exchanged at the end of the pursuit.

As the officers and their quarry approached the city’s business district, the officers decided to initiate a felony stop for fear that any further progress by the suspect would endanger innocent civilians. Their emergency lights and sirens activated simultaneously, as if the officers had been rehearsing for months. But the driver of the sedan ignored their attempts to stop him and he increased his speed dramatically.

Blue lights danced off the store front windows. Magro looked at his speed. 93...95...99 mph.

They were quickly approaching the intersection of Main Street and Duncan. The sedan slowed abruptly, tires squealing, and made a sharp right onto Duncan Street, heading into a residential area. The driver began a series of hairpin turns onto side streets in the hopes of throwing the officers off his scent.

"Eighty-seven miles per hour, road conditions dry, no traffic, heading west on Sheridan," Magro radioed in to dispatch.


Suddenly, the driver screeched to a halt and made a U-turn in a gravel parking lot. The rear of Pewitt's car rose up in the air as he slammed on his brakes. Magro quickly stomped on his brakes, steered left, and came to a sudden stop after going around in a vigorous 180-degree spin.

The suspect remained stopped for just a second, but it felt like an eternity. Then, like a bull charging a matador, he spun the rear tires and attempted to broadside Pewitt. Pewitt quickly accelerated his patrol car and avoided the near-devastating collision.

"Pewitt, you OK!?" Magro quickly called to him on the radio.

Pewitt's response was surprisingly calm and reassuring.


Magro was directly behind the sedan as it accelerated through a sharp left turn and approached Hughes Street. The sedan's brake lights lit up and then the strangest thing happened.

The suspect activated his turn signal.

As the suspect literally signaled his intentions, Magro followed his left turn and continued down Hughes Street. The suspect then made an abrupt, hard right turn into a driveway, spitting gravel, and drove through the grass behind a house.

Magro slammed on his brakes and skidded sideways, coming to a stop in front of 805 Hughes Street. Pewitt pulled in front of him. Magro flung his door open and launched himself out of his patrol car, only to be yanked back into his seat.

"Take off the seat belt, you idiot!" he exclaimed to himself.

Once out of his car, Magro drew his weapon.

"Go around the south side of the house," he yelled to Pewitt. "I’ll take the north!"

Comments (2)

Displaying 1 - 2 of 2

James Rose @ 11/25/2011 10:59 PM

Good job fellas. Stayed safe and did your job.

Nicholas Magro @ 8/21/2014 10:14 AM

That's my father. I'm so glad that he didn't get shot or anything worse.

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