Gunman Who Killed Grundy County Deputy Kills Self

Massive Manhunt Led To Apprehension Of Bryson

Thursday, June 5, 2008
Kermit Eugene Bryson
Kermit Eugene Bryson

A man who authorities say shot and killed a Grundy County sheriff's deputy early Thursday morning was captured Thursday night after an all-day massive manhunt. Kermit Eugene Bryson shot himself after he was finally cornered, and he died after being airlifted to Erlanger Hospital.

Erlanger officials said at 2:29 a.m., "Mr. Bryson is deceased."

Authorities had located the 29-year-old Bryson in downtown Monteagle about 8:10 p.m. at the home of the mother of his girlfriend. An ATF negotiator talked with him about 20 minutes, then he became emotional, broke down and turned his gun on himself.

Authorities said he suffered severe injuries when he shot himself in the head, but he initially survived.

He was taken by ambulance to a LifeForce helicopter, then was flown to Erlanger.

The deputy was shot while trying to serve a warrant on Bryson near Monteagle, Tn. A Monteagle police officer was also shot, but was barely grazed.

The victim was Deputy Shane Tate, 28, the father of five children.

Wounded was Monteagle Police officer Brian Malhoit, 26. He was treated at Sewanee Hospital for non-life threatening injuries.

Authorities said the two officers were trying to serve a warrant on Bryson about 3 a.m.

Kristin Helm, of the TBI, said Thursday morning there was "an absolute all-out manhunt underway. We have pulled out all the stops."

She called Bryson "a very dangerous individual."

Ms. Helm said, "The deputy and police officer, along with another officer went to a mobile home park behind a housing complex on Monteagle Falls Road."

She said Deputy Tate was fatally shot after entering 1111 Monteagle Falls Road.

She said the officers had been looking for Bryson for six to eight months on a probation violation on a drug case. She said, "They knew he was dangerous."

Ms. Helm said they had strong information that he was at the trailer.

Bryson was allegedly in his underwear when the shooting took place, but Ms. Helm said he later was wearing blue jeans, a blue shirt and tennis shoes.

Bryson took off after the shooting.
Over 100 officers from over two dozen law enforcement agencies, including officers from Hamilton County, were involved in the search. Helicopters as well as search dogs were used.

Grundy County Mayor Ladue Bouldin said the deputy who was killed leaves a wife and five children. He said he had been on patrol about a year and only recently completed the police academy.

Mayor Bouldin said, "He was young and energetic. He was a very fine officer." He called it "a terrible tragedy."

Bryson had been added to the TBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted, and a $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest. He is facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

Deputy Tate was a three-year employee of the Grundy County Sheriff’s Office and had been on patrol for less than a year. He graduated from the police academy less than a month ago.

The three officers approached the home on Monteagle Falls Road, where they believed Bryson was sleeping, to serve the warrant and put him under arrest. Details of the actual shooting are still under investigation at this time. The TBI Violent Crime Response Team is processing the scene for evidence.

Charles Baker, who operates a loan company in Monteagle, said Bryson came into the loan office several times over the past few months.

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