Tennessee deputy killed during traffic stop, another injured; 'armed and dangerous' felon at large

The Blount County Sheriff's Office identified the deputy killed in the line of duty Thursday night as Greg McCowan. (Blount County Sheriff's Office)

A manhunt is underway Friday in Tennessee for an "armed and dangerous" suspect accused of shooting and killing a sheriff's deputy and injuring another during a traffic stop last night.

The Blount County Sheriff's Office announced there are now rewards totaling more than $60,000 for information leading to the capture of Kenneth Wayne DeHart, 42. Sheriff James Berrong has made a plea for residents living in the Wildwood area of Maryville to check their security or doorbell cameras for "possible suspicious persons or activity" in the wake of the death of Deputy Greg McCowan.

"Deputy Shelby Eggers was also shot and injured during the incident Thursday evening. Deputy Eggers received non-life-threatening injuries," the Sheriff's Office said Friday. "She was released from the hospital and is recovering at home."

Berrong has said warrants have been issued for first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and felon in possession of a firearm in the manhunt for DeHart.

LOS ANGELES POLICE OFFICER SHOT, KILLED IN SUSPECTED 'AMBUSH ATTACK'Details surrounding the traffic stop, which took place in the 4900 block of Sevierville Road, and what led to the deadly shooting were not immediately available.


The Blount County Sheriff's Office released a photo of what Kenneth DeHart, 42, looked like during the traffic stop that left a deputy dead and another injured Thursday night. (Blount County Sheriff's Office)

A Blue Alert has been issued in Tennessee for DeHart, who was last seen in the Wildwood area east of Maryville. He was driving a silver Lexus, but is now believed to be on foot and is considered to be "armed and dangerous."

He is described as a Black man with black hair and brown eyes who stands at 6-feet tall and weighs 260 pounds. The Blount County Sheriff's Office said he currently has dreadlocks.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) is assisting local law enforcement in the search for DeHart and the investigation. 

He was added to the state's Most Wanted list Friday morning. Tips on DeHart's whereabouts can be left with the BCSO at 865-981-7125 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

Berrong shared through tearful eyes Friday morning that he has spoken to McCowan's family and apologized for "not protecting him."

"We're going to get this man off the streets of east Tennessee and put him behind bars," Berrong promised.

The Sheriff's Office said McCowan, 43, began his full-time career there in 2020 after working as a reserve deputy.

"He was awarded the Sheriff’s Office Lifesaving commendation in April 2021 for his part in saving the life of a man trapped in a burning vehicle. He was an EMR and was also recently accepted on the Sheriff’s Crisis Negotiations team and was excited to put his recent certification to use," it said.

"Deputy McCowan was always smiling and friendly to everyone. He loved riding motorcycles and restoring old vehicles," the Sheriff's Office added. "Deputy McCowan leaves behind his children Cayley and Cayden, his granddaughter Ella, his mother and father, his fiancé Leah, and numerous family and friends. 

Eggers, 22, currently serves as a patrol deputy.

"Deputy Eggers knew before she graduated from Heritage High School in 2019 that she wanted to work for the BCSO," the Sheriff's Office said. "She was excited when she was accepted into the academy, and like Deputy McCowan, she excelled as a recruit."

Fox News' Greg Norman contributed to this report. Read more of this story from FOX News