An official on the scene shared this photo with Channel 4. (WSMV)
Air4 over the scene of the shooting. (WSMV)
Michael Bell (Source: Coffee County Sheriff's Department)
MANCHESTER, TN (WSMV) -
Two deputies were injured and the alleged gunman was killed in a shooting at the Coffee County Justice Center on Monday afternoon.
According to the TBI, Coffee County Deputy Wade Bassett went into the holding cell at the justice center to take inmate Michael Bell back to jail.
Bell, 37, had been in court on Monday for charges including kidnapping and domestic assault.
The TBI said Bell overpowered Bassett and was able to get his gun. He then shot Bassett before running down the stairs.
When Bell got to the first floor, investigators said he shot Deputy Wendell Bowen on his way out the door.
Investigators said Bell then ran about a block away and entered a home on Madison Street. He then left the home and ran into the yard of another home, where he was later found dead after shooting himself in the head.
Bassett, 71, was wearing a bulletproof vest and suffered significant injuries to his hand and arm. A bullet also stuck him in the abdomen area but hit his armor. He was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and was last listed in stable condition.
Bowen, 56, was shot in the abdomen area. He was transported to Erlanger Hospital in Chattanooga, where he was underwent surgery Monday evening.
Coffee County Circuit Court Clerk Heather Duncan told Channel 4 she didn’t witness the shooting, but said the entire courthouse was evacuated after it happened.
“Everybody’s just broken-hearted and sick. We’re so worried about our officer friends and so thankful at the same time it wasn’t worse than it was. We’re just hopeful those officers and their families are OK tonight,” Duncan said.
The Coffee County Justice Center was closed on Tuesday.
Authorities say before these latest charges, Bell did not have a criminal background in Coffee County or the state of Tennessee.
Stay with Channel 4 and WSMV.com for updated to this story.
NEWS ALERT: TBI has Agents responding to a reported shooting at the Coffee County Courthouse. Will share additional details ASAP. pic.twitter.com/ZQO0dhztUA