Video: Tenn. deputy shoots axe-wielding attacker

The deputy’s actions were ruled justifiable


By PoliceOne Staff

GREENBACK, Tenn. — A Blount County deputy who fatally shot a man refusing to drop an axe has been cleared of wrongdoing following an investigation, WBIR reported.

"After reviewing the findings of the TBI and the BCSO investigation, the Blount County District Attorney General’s Office ruled the deputy’s actions were justifiable based on the circumstances, and that the deputy’s actions were in compliance with Tennessee state law," the sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Deputy Jarred Pekala was responding to a call about a man “acting erratically” when he arrived at the scene. Dash cam video shows Brian Lee Rogers, 40, advancing towards Pekala with an axe in hand. 

Pekala reversed his patrol vehicle 320 feet away and got out to instruct Rogers to drop the weapon.

Footage shows Rogers refusing to comply several times and continuing to approach Pekala, despite multiple warnings. 

Pekala then shot Rogers six times. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital. 

Pekala has been on administrative leave with pay since the Sept. 30 incident. 

“More often than not, law enforcement officers must make split second decisions when they are confronted with an individual who is armed,” Blount County Sheriff James Berrong told WBIR. “Our deputies faithfully continue to uphold their oaths and protect our citizens, despite knowing they will be second-guessed in traditional and social media. I stand by my deputies.”


 

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