5 things to know about suspected cop killer Steven Wiggins

Wiggins is currently on the run


By PoliceOne Staff

A Tennessee sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop Wednesday, and the suspect in his killing, Steven Wiggins, is on the run. Here are five things to know about the alleged cop killer, who is considered armed and dangerous.

1. Wiggins has been added to the TBI’s ‘Most Wanted’ list.

32-year-old Sgt. Daniel Baker tried to stop Wiggins, 31, after a report of a stolen vehicle, and gunfire was exchanged. After Wiggins fled the scene, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation added the suspect to its Top 10 Most Wanted list.

Wiggins is described as six feet one inch tall, around 220 pounds with balding brown hair and brown eyes. Police have urged anyone with information leading to his arrest to call 1-800-TBI-FIND.

A $2,500 reward has been offered for any information leading to his arrest.

2. He is also wanted on charges from the previous night.

The suspect was already wanted for aggravated assault and theft charges from an incident that occurred Tuesday night. Police reportedly responded to a domestic disturbance in which a woman told authorities Wiggins had slapped her in the face, pulled her hair out, and put a gun to her head when she threatened to call the police. Wiggins allegedly fled the scene in her car and the victim believes he had been smoking marijuana and meth “all night.”

 

 

3. The suspect is no stranger to law enforcement.

Wiggins' criminal history dates back to 2006, when he was charged with domestic assault. He was charged in June 2016 with aggravated domestic assault and resisting arrest, and again in August 2016 for violating bond. He was also arrested in June 2017 for especially aggravated kidnapping and false imprisonment, and in October 2017 for assault.

4. Tennessee officials issued a Blue Alert after the shooting.

TBI issued a Blue Alert after the shooting. Similar to an Amber Alert, the system sends suspect information to the mobile phones of the public when a law enforcement officer is killed or seriously injured in the line of duty. The TBI began using the system in 2011.

Legislation for a national version of the Blue Alert system was passed in 2015, after the ambush deaths of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. As of Jan. 2018, 29 states have implemented the system.

According to the Tennessean, the criteria for issuing a Blue Alert in the state is:

  • A sworn law enforcement officer is killed, sustains life threatening injuries or the officer is missing in the line of duty under circumstances warranting concern for the law enforcement officer's safety.
  • The suspect or suspects pose an imminent threat to public safety and law enforcement personnel
  • A description of the offender or vehicle is available for statewide broadcast to the public and law enforcement 911 centers.
  • Prior to activation, if the suspect or suspects are identified, the requesting agency will immediately place the suspect in the temporary felon file in the National Crime Information Center and obtain felony warrants as soon as possible or within 24 hours.
  • The head of any Tennessee law enforcement agency, Colonel of the Highway Patrol, Chief, Sheriff or their designee of the investigating law enforcement agency of jurisdiction requests the TBI to activate the Blue Alert system.

5. The danger of domestic violence suspects

Wiggins has a long history of being charged in domestic incidents. DV calls are some of the most dangerous crimes LEOs respond to. Check out the following expert articles on how you can best prepare for them:

The 2 most dangerous moments of domestic violence calls

10 domestic violence myths police need to know

The dangers of responding to domestic violence scenes

Understanding domestic violence calls and tips for a safe response

How does your police department respond to a domestic disturbance call?

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