Radio traffic regarding Soddy Daisy officer-involved shooting shared on Facebook
Chief Jeff Gann says he had no idea the public Facebook page, “Soddy Daisy Underground Radio,” existed. That is until he got several calls about a recording posted to the page. The recording shares radio traffic regarding the officer-involved shooting on Harvest Court that happened last Thursday.
Chief Gann confirms the radio traffic is authentic.
The Soddy Daisy dispatcher heard on the recording is telling an officer about a call she just took from a woman, who was reporting a disorder with her boyfriend.
“[She] says that her boyfriend has dementia and started going crazy knocking things off the shelf. She felt that she was in danger and he was a danger to himself. She wants an officer to go back with her back over there,” the dispatcher said.
The dispatcher goes on to explain the boyfriend could be armed.
“She said there was a weapon in the house but as far as she knew there were no bullets in the house. When he was considered to have dementia she took all of the ammunition out,” said the dispatcher.
Chief Gann says four of his officers responded to the call. Three of them went inside the home, where 74-year-old John Sawyer III was located. He says Sawyer pointed a gun at the officers and was fatally shot.
The shooting is under investigation by Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, so Gann could not confirm if Sawyer fired his gun and how many times officers fired.
But Chief Gann says his team responded correctly. He says regardless of what dispatchers reported, his officers had to react based on their reality at that moment.
“We have to put a lot of faith in what we get told over the radio. However, there's no way a dispatcher can actually know what they are being told is the truth or if it’s fabricated in any manner. That officer arriving at any scene has to go off of their training. Their training is to look for any threat,” he said. “To know if a weapon has ammunition, there's no way of knowing.”
He added that the recording posted on Facebook could have put his officers and others at risk.
“It's true radio traffic of what took place so I don't see any way that it's going to harm now that's over,” he explained. “If it had been just put out there at the time of the call we could've had a lot more people there that could have actually gotten in the way.”