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Chief: Tenn. Cop Did 'Right Thing' Surrendering Gun

December 30, 2012  | 

Face-to-face with a gun-toting bank robber, the officer made a split-second decision.

He unloaded his gun and laid it on the ground.

"He could not have won that battle," Newport (Tenn.) Police Chief Maurice Shults said. "He was overpowered and outgunned. It's easy to second-guess when you don't have a gun pointed at your head."

The search continued Thursday night for the two men who robbed the Tennessee State Bank the day before in Newport and disarmed a police officer at gunpoint in the parking lot. Witnesses last reported seeing the pair's getaway car, a silver SUV, headed east on Interstate 40 toward North Carolina.

Read the full Knoxville News Sentinel story.

Comments (13)

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13

[email protected] @ 12/31/2012 5:49 PM

I know I'm gonna get alot of flack for this but I agree with the Chief. I've only heard of one person out gunning a drawn weapon and that was Mr. Elmer Keith in a courtroom demonstration. Glad the Officer is alive and well. Stay Safe.

Dennis (CHP retired) @ 12/31/2012 7:21 PM

As you should, Bob. It turned out that the officer didn't get shot, or far worse, die. I can't say I've been in the exact same situation, but I can say i've been trained for that exact situation, and trained by the best. You don't give up your service weapon, under any circumstances. My guess: you already know it. You're being far too kind to the officer, but we both know that the chances of surviving an incident like that, especially giving up your service weapon is unlikely. I think the Chief in TN knows that as well, but i'm sure the officer was probably highly shaken by the event and s/he didn't need to weaken the officers morale. Hopefully the officer can get on with the job and put the event behind him.

[email protected] retired @ 12/31/2012 7:59 PM

Right, wrong, or indifferent. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut. Sounds like everyone went home unharmed at the end of shift, and that's what counts.

Mark @ 1/1/2013 3:03 PM

Ask Ofc. Mary Beal what she thinks about surrendering a gun. Wait, you can't she died because she surrendered her gun:

Greg @ 1/1/2013 6:33 PM

There is one thing for sure.There is no possible way,he made the wrong call,this time.No one was harmed,and went home that night.What's left?

Michael A. Knox @ 1/2/2013 5:51 AM

Deputy U.S. Marshal Mike Thompson survived an incident in which two suspects had the drop on him and a fellow marshal. He won. Thompson shot and killed both suspects and maintained control of his prisoner. It's all about tactical training and practice, something we've gotten away from as a result of budget cuts and the kinder, gentler way of policing. Officers must be prepared for deadly force encounters, and its the agency's responsibility to make sure that they are. In this case, the officer survived only because the suspects chose not to kill him. They were in control, not the officer. I'm not faulting the officer's decision, but I suspect that the officer has never trained for such an encounter.

Michael A. Knox @ 1/2/2013 5:53 AM

Here's a link that tells about Mike Thompson's survival:

Mike Robey @ 1/2/2013 6:27 AM

I was the second officer on the scene and ill tell all you badass commenters you weren't there that day I was. Before you talk out of your ass you should consider the circumstances. That officer could in no way have done any better he draw the assailant out of the bank and not only saved the life of everyone in the bank but my life also. So before you assholes criticize him get the facts!!!!!

Mike Robey @ 1/2/2013 6:29 AM

It's only buy the grace of God that any of us survived

Marshal Fine @ 1/2/2013 7:56 AM

I agree with Mike Robey. The fact is that non of us were there. Not all of us are Master Experts in shooting skills, being in perfect condition, Defensive tactics and are perfect thinking looking down the barrel of a gun. God Bless your officers, chief and department. You all survived and no civillians were harmed. As a 30 year veteran, Chief, and academy instructor, I know that somethimes it's best thing to fight another day. All the best to you guys...BE SAFE

oldcop @ 1/2/2013 9:05 AM

I think the best any of us can do is train/train/train then follow our instincts. No amount of training is going to fit every situation just as no policy manual fits all situations. Anyone that thinks they can write a training program that will fit every situation hasn't been in this job long enough.

Derek @ 1/27/2013 8:07 PM

It's an individual officers choice, made at the time with circumstances taken into account. FREEWILL people, 25 % chance, you are killed fighting or 25% you die giving up your gun, 25% You kill the bad guys, or 25% You give up your gun and the bad hguys leave you unharmed.

Robert @ 8/28/2014 3:36 PM

These were the same two who broke into the White House on the river in the Bridgeport community in Newport, stole a shotgun, HP tablet, 12 Volt Craftsman Drill-Driver and many other items police and sheriff have identified. But this wasn't mentioned in the story. They broke into the house several hours earlier before the bank robbery. We have been told that our items have been identified.

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