Knoxville/ Community & Society
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Published on May 29, 2024
Blount County Civilians Honored with Awards for Heroic Acts During Fatal Deputy ShootingSource: Facebook/Blount County Sheriff's Office

Two civilians who had the gumption to step in during a deadly shooting in Blount County were honored with the Citizen Service Award for their brave actions. Sandra Solomon and Ricky Williams happened upon a scene of violence that would leave Deputy Greg McCowan dead and Deputy Shelby Eggers wounded. As per WVLT, Solomon and Williams did not think twice about putting themselves in the line of danger and offered immediate assistance following the February incident.

When shots rang out during a seemingly routine traffic stop, it was the quick thinking of these individuals that helped to possibly save a life. WVLT reported that Williams applied a tourniquet to Eggers' leg and together with Solomon, provided comfort until additional officers arrived on the scene. "Their actions are beyond valorous—neither individual knew the dangers they could face by stopping to help, but they stopped and helped anyway," BCSO officials said in a statement obtained by WVLT.

At the solemn ceremony held at the Blount County Justice Center, Sheriff James Lee Berrong presented the awards, acknowledging the rare and exceptional deed Solomon and Williams performed. WBIR shared Berrong's sentiment that "Thank you just doesn’t seem like enough," highlighting the gratitude the department and community felt towards the pair.

Following the harrowing event, the suspected shooter, Kenneth DeHart, was captured and faces multiple charges including first-degree murder and attempted murder. According to WATE, DeHart’s accomplices, including his brother, girlfriend, and another individual, have been charged with accessory after the fact. Meanwhile, the community continues to mourn the loss of Deputy McCowan, who was honored with a public funeral and procession before his burial.