Author: NLEM Staff

By Jonathan Mattise Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Tennessee sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot during a traffic stop early Wednesday and police were offering a $7,500 reward to help them find the suspect, a man charged the day before with hitting a woman and stealing her car.

Authorities identified the suspect as Steven Joshua Wiggins, 31, a white male with balding brown hair who they believe is armed and dangerous. State, federal and local authorities have launched a manhunt for him in the area near where the Dickson County deputy was shot and killed.

The deputy responded to a call about a suspicious car Wednesday, then couldn’t be contacted for some time, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Susan Niland said at a news conference. The deputy’s car was tracked by GPS to a location 2 or 3 miles (3 to 5 kilometers) away, and the deputy was found dead inside of it.

“If he is listening or anyone listening that knows him that could talk some sense into him, that he would turn himself in, that’s what he needs to do,” Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe said of Wiggins at the news conference. “Because we’re not going to rest. We’re not going to leave anything unturned until he’s brought in for justice.”

The deputy’s name has not been released, but the sheriff said he was one of the department’s best, a supervisor who had worked his way up to sergeant on patrol. Bledsoe became emotional while talking about the tragedy.

“Our heart’s shattered with this,” he said.

Wiggins was identified as the suspect from video footage, Niland said.

Wiggins was already wanted on charges that he assaulted a woman and stole her car when he was pulled over Wednesday, according to a report from the Kingston Springs Police Department.

The report says a woman told police early Tuesday that Wiggins had slapped her in the face and pulled out some of her hair, then put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her if she called police. She said he then grabbed her keys and took her car without her permission.

At the time of the report, the woman, 38, told police Wiggins was “doing meth all night and smoking marijuana.” She told police she planned to press charges, the report said.

NEW PICTURE: Here’s a more recent photograph of Steven Wiggins, from a 2017 arrest in Williamson County.

— TBI (@TBInvestigation) May 30, 2018

TBI Acting Director Jason Locke is providing an update on the Dickson County manhunt. We will provide a written statement on where things stand as soon as possible. Thanks for your continued support.

— TBI (@TBInvestigation) May 30, 2018

We’ve also added Wiggins to our Top 10 Most Wanted list. There is now a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to his arrest.

— TBI (@TBInvestigation) May 30, 2018

Car believe to be involved in this morning’s fatal shooting of a Dickson County Sheriff’s Deputy

— Chris Conte (@chrisconte) May 30, 2018

#VIDEO— Dickson Co. Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe mourns deputy killed in line of duty & offers emotional plea in search for suspect, Steven Wiggins. @WKRN

— Josh Breslow (@JoshBreslowWKRN) May 30, 2018

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