UPDATE: TBI releases name of suspect killed in officer-involved - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: TBI releases name of suspect killed in officer-involved shooting in Marion Co.

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Photo by WRCB reporter Kelly McCarthy. Photo by WRCB reporter Kelly McCarthy.
MARION COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The TBI has released the name of the suspect killed in Marion County following an officer-involved shooting Tuesday night.

A TBI spokesperson says 59-year-old William John Berner died from unknown injuries after a crash on Highway 134 in Whiteside.

Marion County deputies fired shots at the Berner as he sped toward them in a pickup truck. Berner's truck kept moving for short distance before the crash occurred.

Berner was pronounced dead at the scene.

It's unclear right now if the man died from injuries sustained in the crash or from gunshot wounds. 

His cause of death is still under investigation.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story. 


The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is working to figure out what led to an officer-involved shooting in Marion County. Officials say the suspect died from unknown injuries after a crash, following the shooting.

It happened on Highway 134 near the Scratch Ankle overpass shortly after 6:00 Tuesday night. The District Attorney asked TBI agents to lead the way on figuring out what led to Marion County deputies opening fire in Whiteside.

"There were three deputies who were present, it's not been determined yet how many of them opened fire and how many each fired," says Susan Niland, TBI Spokeswoman. 

Reporter: "So we don't know how many are on leave?"  Niland: "That's correct, you would need to contact the Marion County Sheriff's Department to ask any personnel questions related to their officers." 

The Sheriff's Office did not return Channel 3's calls, except to say the Sheriff is out of the office. 

Deputies answered two complaints at different times early Tuesday, by people saying a man was drunk and disorderly. 

TBI officials say they don't know what happened when deputies got there, but that same man called later in the night making threats to officers. 

"It appears he had contacted some sort of law enforcement entity," Niland says. "I don't know specifically if it was a 911 dispatcher, but he had made some threats toward law enforcement." 

Niland wouldn't explain the threat.

"I can't talk about the specifics of what the threat was but it was something where officials were responding to it," says Niland.  

She says when deputies got there, the man sped toward them and deputies opened fire.

Reporter: "Was he armed; was there a weapon found on his person?" Niland replies, "I don't have information about that at this stage." 

The car kept going after deputies opened fire and it eventually crashed a short distance away. The man behind the wheel was pronounced dead at the scene. It's unclear right now if the man died from injuries sustained in the crash or from gunshot wounds. His cause of death is still under investigation. 

Agents would not confirm WRCB's initial report from Tuesday night that stated the suspect fired a gun at officers. A source who was on scene said Tuesday that is not what he said, adding it is too early to know for sure.

Officials have not yet released the identity of the driver killed. They say they're waiting for official autopsy results.

Any information gathered from the TBI's investigation will be turned over to the District Attorney's Office for review. 

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.    


PREVIOUS UPDATE: District Attorney general Mike Taylor has asked the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to investigate the Tuesday night shooting of a driver by  Marion County Sheriff's Department deputies.

The TBI says that the victim sparked two different complaints by residents to police earlier Tuesday, with reports that an individual was drunk and disorderly. 

Later that evening, the TBI says the man called, making threats to law enforcement officers. When deputies arrived, he tried to run them over.

Deputies fired at the vehicle, which continued at a high rate of speed and later crashed.

The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene. The cause of the death is under investigation. 

The investigation by the TBI in ongoing.  


PREVIOUS STORY: A man is dead after Marion County authorities opened fire during a police chase Tuesday night.

It happened on Highway 134 near the Scratch Ankle Overpass shortly after 6:00 p.m.

Officials confirm a man led police on a chase and tried to run over officers with his truck. Officers returned fire and the suspect ultimately crashed the pickup truck he was driving.

Highway 134 near Whiteside Loop was closed during the Sheriff's Office investigation.

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