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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 Chattanoogan.com.


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