Police: Suspect on the run after shooting, wounding Tenn. officer
Officer Jay Williams is recovering after being shot by Ronnie Lucas Wilson, who is considered armed and dangerous
By Travis Dorman and Hayes Hickman
Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A reputed Aryan Nations gang member accused of wounding a Knoxville police officer in a Thursday night shooting has been added to Tennessee's Top 10 Most Wanted list.
A $2,500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of Ronnie Lucas Wilson, 31, who allegedly opened fire on a Knoxville Police Department officer during a traffic stop, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation announced Friday.
Officer Jay Williams has been released from the hospital and is recovering from a single gunshot wound he suffered to his shoulder during the attack, police said.
.@Knoxville_PD Officer Jay Williams who was shot during a traffic stop last evening has now been released from the hospital. Thank you for the support & prayers. Suspect, Ronnie Lucas Wilson, is still on the run. Suspect is armed & dangerous. Do not approach - Call 911 pic.twitter.com/Ql71j2vEtm— Knoxville Police TN (@Knoxville_PD) January 12, 2018
Williams was shot about 8:30 p.m. as he attempted to stop a vehicle for speeding along Washington Pike in front of the Target store in Northeast Knoxville, Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said.
Wilson allegedly opened fire on Williams with a shotgun while being pursued by the officer, Rausch said. He then stopped his car, got out and fired multiple rounds at the officer before driving away, the police chief said.
"The officer, as far as I'm aware, did not fire his weapon," Rausch said.
Wilson, who faces a charge of attempted first-degree murder, was added to the state's most wanted list Friday morning, according to TBI.
Also on Friday morning, authorities recovered a black, mid-70s model Chevy Nova that is believed to have been the vehicle Wilson fled in from the shooting scene.
@Knoxville_PD officer has been shot on Washington Pike in front of Target. Suspect still on the run. Officer has been transported to hospital for treatment. Additional information will be released as information becomes available. pic.twitter.com/mwobYhuRld— Knoxville Police TN (@Knoxville_PD) January 12, 2018
Rausch said Thursday night that he didn't know if Wilson was the only person in the car at the time of the shooting.
Law enforcement agencies across the state are "very familiar" with Wilson, Rausch said, adding that Wilson is listed in a database "as a member of the Aryan Nations gang."
In Knox County, Wilson was convicted of aggravated burglary in 2011 and was sentenced to serve three years in a state prison, according to court records.
Wilson on Facebook has posted photos of himself shirtless, showing off a large swastika tattoo on his chest and, on his stomach, a Celtic cross with different images in each quadrant and the words "White Pride Worldwide" around the outside. He also posted in October 2017 the two photos — of himself and the Nova — that KPD released Thursday night.
According to the Anti-Defamation League's website, that Celtic cross image is the main symbol for the Aryan Nations, described as "the largest white supremacist prison gang in Tennessee."
"The gang borrowed its title from the older neo-Nazi group of the same name, though the two are separate groups with few connections," the website reads.
The suspect who shot our Officer last night has been added to the TBI’s top 10 fugitive list. A $2,500 reward is being offered. Help us find Ronnie Lucas Wilson before he hurts anyone else. pic.twitter.com/siK1IzIyZb— Knoxville Police TN (@Knoxville_PD) January 12, 2018
Wilson attended Gibbs High School in Corryton, according to his Facebook page.
Authorities ask anyone who sees Wilson to call E-911 immediately. Callers can remain anonymous.
"If you see this vehicle, if you know this individual, do not try to intervene," Rausch said.
"If he is going to take a shot at an officer, he won't hesitate to shoot at anyone else."
©2018 the Knoxville News-Sentinel (Knoxville, Tenn.)