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Tenn. Sgt. Killed In Gunfight With Prison Escapee Wearing Kevlar Vest

April 02, 2011  | 

Photo: Chattanooga PD.

A veteran Chattanooga (Tenn.) Police officer was fatally shot Saturday morning, after responding to a pawn shop where a man who had escaped from a Colorado prison was attempting an armed robbery.

Sgt. James Timothy Chapin, a 26-year veteran, was shot in the head during a foot pursuit with the suspect, whose Kevlar vest protected him from numerous police bullets. A bullet from the suspect struck a second officer, Lorin Johnston, in his ballistic vest.

The parolee and fugitive suspected of fatally shooting the officer is Jesse Mathews, who is wanted in Colorado on robbery warrants.

Officers responded to the U.S. Money Shops in the 5900 block of Brainerd Road at about 10:30 a.m., reports The Chattanoogan.

In an open letter to the newspaper, Sgt. Craig W. Joel thanked his fellow officers, writing:

On a day where everything ended so wrongly, you are doing it right. Tim's shift is over, but you are still coming in for your own shifts to keep it going, to keep us safe, and you keep doing so regardless of the risks and the grief and what I think of as "the rocks in our shoes" we tolerate from those who wish to make such a simple job of "doing right" so very complicated.

Read the full story at

Comments (7)

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7

WBW @ 4/4/2011 5:04 PM

RIP brother my thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and your agency.

Michael @ 4/4/2011 8:25 PM

This is so sad, what a waste and this piece of sh** will get life. I am sick of these scumbags..........kill these animals,don't let them rot in jail.
I know this doesn't seem much like a good Christian Attitude, but I hate reading these stories. We LEO give so much and pay the ultimate price to serve. My prayers go to all, God Bless to my fellow LEO's.

Tim McDonald @ 4/5/2011 6:19 AM

Another strong argument for the deployment of patrol rifle immediately upon responding to calls of this nature!

CGarrow @ 4/6/2011 6:31 PM

These are troubled times we live in. We officers, do what it takes to protect and service, no matter what the risk. My prayers are with you, your family, and all brothers that wear this sacred badge.

joey @ 4/12/2011 5:06 PM

maybe if he wasnt harrassing this poor guy he would still be alive. Ive seen innocent people get beaten by cops, well he picked on someone he should not. lol

joey @ 4/12/2011 5:07 PM

all you morons that will respond to this. well guess what I will no longer visit this website. so all you cops kiss my ass. pigs!

john russell @ 4/13/2011 5:47 PM

Oh well looks like simple game good guys bad guys....who ever said all if fair on your side if you wear Black or Blue Uniform huh??? Bet half the Cartel wear more expensive Armor than the Mexican Military and Police...?

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