(Covington, TN) The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into an officer involved shooting that left a woman dead.
Five law enforcement officers are on administrative leave.
Tipton County and Covington officers say around 8:00 a.m. they got a call a suicidal woman was on Highway 51.
“She was shooting at the people on the highway to hit her,” said bystander Shelby Hugel.
Officers located 64-year-old Nattela Ruth Blackwell in the shopping center parking lot near Walmart on Highway 51 at Lanny Bridges Ave. in Covington.
Investigators say they tried to get her to put the gun down but she refused and pointed the gun at officers, which resulted in them shooting and killing her.
“We are acting like we are trained,” said Tipton County Sheriff Pancho Chumley. “I hate things like this have to end like this but when they do, I’m glad my officers are OK.”
Kim Garnsey has four kids and is thankful she wasn’t driving with them on Highway 51 Sunday morning.
“You wouldn’t know what to do. I’m grateful it didn’t happen to me and my family,” expressed Garnsey.
This is the second officer involved shooting in Tipton county in about a week.
On November 2nd, Tipton County Deputies shot and killed 26-year-old Jake Maese when he too refused to put down a weapon.
As for Nattela Blackwell’s case, the deputies involved have been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the TBI investigation.
“I anticipate the investigation to support this unfortunate incident as a ‘suicide by cop.’ Any death in this manner is tragic, however the safety of the citizens, bystanders and officers is paramount,” said Sheriff Chumley.
The following is a news release from the Tipton County Sheriff:
The Tipton County Sheriff’s Office and Covington Police Department have confirmed the deputies and police officers involved in the Officer Involved Shooting on Sunday, 03 November 2013 as Police Officer William Nelson, Deputy Sheriff Wesley Ballard, Sergeant Sean Cullen, Deputy Sheriff Tyler Huelsing and Deputy Sheriff Eddie Walker.
Corporal William Nelson has been employed at the Covington Police Department since September 2006. He is assigned as a supervisor in the Uniform Patrol Division.
Deputy Sheriff Wesley Ballard has been employed at the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office since 24 May 2013. He is assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division.
Sergeant Sean Cullen has been employed at the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office since September 1999. He is a supervisor assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division and a member of the SWAT team.
Deputy Sheriff Tyler Huelsing has been employed at the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office since September 2011. He is assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division and a member of the SWAT team.
Deputy Sheriff Eddie Walker has been employed at the Tipton County Sheriff’s Office since January 2013. He is assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division and a member of the SWAT team.