Officer's attorney says East Ridge shooting was justified - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Officer's attorney says East Ridge shooting was justified

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Todd Browning Todd Browning
EAST RIDGE, TN (WRCB) -

Details are finally starting to emerge in an officer-involved shooting in East Ridge two weeks after it all unfolded. 

Todd Browning, 54, was shot and killed by an East Ridge police officer outside his home on Prigmore Drive. 

The public has been left in the dark with many details in the case as the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, who is investigating the case and the Hamilton County District Attorney's Office have declined to comment. 

READ MORE | Man killed in officer-involved shooting shot 5 times

The attorney representing the police officer is shedding light into what happened, saying the officer acted within his duty. 

"This shooting was absolutely justified. It was performed pursuant to departmental policy and state law and the officer was fully within his right," Attorney Bryan Hoss said. 

Hoss says it was the first time East Ridge Police Lt. Daniel Stephenson fired his weapon in the line of duty in his 14 year career as an officer. 

The former SWAT team member first responded to AutoZone on Ringgold Road on August 19th to a report of someone threatening customers with a weapon. 

That's where he first encountered Browning. 

"The man is threatening to kill the officer, the man is threatening to kill himself and basically charges at Lt. Stephenson," Hoss said.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Suspect identified in officer-involved shooting in East Ridge

Channel 3 reached out to AutoZone for comment on this story, we have not yet heard back. 

It's unclear what sparked the situation AutoZone as the sheriff's office and district attorney's office have declined to answer questions but we do know it then spilled over to Browning's home on Prigmore Drive. 

Hoss said Stephenson was outside waiting on back up when Browning came out with a water meter tool. 

"They are probably three-four feet long, with a T-grip on the top. It's heavy, metallic. It's a weapon and it can kill you and he's swinging this thing at the officer," Hoss added. 

Hoss said the officer shot Browning after he refused repeated commands and continued to come toward Stephenson-- Events Hoss said were recorded on dashcam video. 

Browning's family declined to talk to Channel 3 but his obituary says he worked for a local plumbing company for more than 30 years and described his favorite pastime as spending time with family and being a Poppy. 

This is a story we're following closely and will pass along any new information as it becomes available. 

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