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Suspect captured, charged
in Tennessee officer's murder [HOHENWALD, TN]

November 27, 2000
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Suspect captured, charged
in Tennessee officer's murder [HOHENWALD, TN]

by Janon Fisher
PoliceOne.com Correspondent

(HOHENWALD, Tenn.) -- Police arrested an 18-year-old man yesterday and charged him with the murder early yesterday of Officer Allen Ragsdale in front of a downtown motorcycle shop.

Ricky Grayson, of Old Hickory, was arrested in a Hohenwald trailer park yesterday evening after police were tipped off to his whereabouts, police said.

Grayson was arrested and handcuffed, but managed to break loose from police and attempted to flee while handcuffed.

"At one point he was running down the road with his arms handcuffed behind his back," Lewis County Attorney Ron Davis told PoliceOne.com. He was captured again shortly afterward.

Grayson, who is being held in the Lewis County Jail, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of burglary.

A bail hearing is expected later this afternoon.

"I don't know if bail will be set. We are going to vigorously oppose it," Davis told PoliceOne.com

On Nov. 26 about midnight Ragsdale and a state police officer responded to a burglary call at Peery Honda, downtown. The two officers saw nothing when they looked for the suspect through the front window, but when Ragsdale turned away from the shop Grayson allegedly rose up from behind the cashier's counter and fired three shots through the plate glass window.

Although Ragsdale was wearing a bulletproof vest, a projectile entered through the side where the vest did not provide coverage, according to the county attorney.

Ragsdale was Lifelifted to the Lewis County Hospital and then again to the Vanderbilt University Hospital where he died on the operating table, authorities said.

Davis, who is himself a retired Nashville police officer, did not say if he would seek the death penalty, but he did say that he is weighing the possibility.

"A murder is extremely serious, but I take shooting a police officer in the line of duty extremely seriously; it is of the highest priority," Davis told PoliceOne.com.

Viewing services for Ragsdale will be held today at 4 p.m. at the McDonald Funeral Home on South Court and funeral services will take place at the First Baptist Church of Hohenwald across the street. The officer will then be buried at Downey Cemetery 4 two miles north of Hohenwald on Route 48 North.

Officer Ragsdale, who had been on the force for a year and a half, is survived by his wife, Shelly; two stepchildren, David Clayton, 19, and Carrie Hodge, 18; and a son, Aren Ragsdale, 10.

Those wishing to make donations to the family may do so by sending a check made out to The Ragsdale Family, 10 East Main, Hohenwald, TN 38462.

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