Suspect arrested in pharmacy shooting, deputies credit K-9
HAMILTON COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- A manhunt in Dallas Bay has ended. Police have arrested a man they believe tried to shoot his way into a locked pharmacy.
The incident put two schools on high alert. After the suspect failed to get into Thrifty Med-Plus Pharmacy, he ran into the woods.
McConnell Elementary School and Loftis Middle School were locked down while police searched the woods nearby.
Police used dogs to sniff out theIR suspect, and within in an hour he gave up. Several K-9's stayed hot on 32-year-old William Leffew's trail from the moment they picked it up.
"We were sitting at the sewing machine and heard three pops like three gun shots," says Jill Pickoesimer who works near the pharmacy.
Pickoesimer got to work early Tuesday morning. So when a man tried to rob the pharmacy she saw it all unfold.
"Then here comes the K-9 units and they took off through the woods," Pickoesimer says.
Deputy Sheriff Mickey Rountree and his dog, Quanto, were first on scene. While Quanto tracked nearby schools went on lockdown.
Pickoesimer locked her doors too. "We kept the doors locked because there were people everywhere, and we just didn't know what was going on," she says.
An hour later at Hixson Pike and Dallas Hollow Road 32-year-old, William Leffew, walked out of the woods and surrendered.
"When I responded a witness said they saw him run behind the pharmacy," Rountree says. "Quanto was able to pick up his track."
The dog tracked Leffew's scent to some footprints nearby. "We were able to pick up those same footprints, then we found a back-pack underneath a log," Rountree says. "The suspect had changed out of his clothes and hit them there."
Rountree says that's when Quanto kicked into overdrive. As he kept tracking the deputy knew they were right on their suspect's tail.
"We were able to follow step for step behind him," Rountree says. "He was just a little ahead of us, we were able to flush him out."
Detectives say Leffew first tried to get inside the pharmacy by kicking the door. When that didn't work, he shot at the building four times. The store alarm went off, and Leffew ran to the woods.
Rountree gives most of the day's credit to Quanto, "When you use these dogs they're just an invaluable tool," he says. "They make an impossible job possible."
Quanto is new to the HCSO K-9 unit, he just joined in July and has also made several significant drug busts.
Leffew never made entry to the pharmacy. The store was closed at the time of the burglary, no one was inside.
School officials lifted the lockdown as soon as they learned Leffew was in custody.