Blount County, TN – The Blount County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) has intensified its efforts to capture Kenneth DeHart Jr., a fugitive believed to be responsible for the shooting of two deputies, resulting in the death of Deputy Greg McCowan. The search for DeHart continues as law enforcement agencies, including the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), offer a reward exceeding $80,000 for information leading to his arrest.

The incident unfolded on Thursday night when deputies attempted to stop an SUV driven by DeHart for erratic driving on Sevierville Road in Maryville. DeHart, 42, allegedly refused to cooperate with deputies, leading to a confrontation during which he reportedly opened fire, critically injuring Deputy Shelby Eggers and fatally shooting Deputy McCowan.

Following the shooting, DeHart fled the scene, prompting a widespread manhunt. Despite the efforts of law enforcement, he remains at large and is considered armed and dangerous. The abandoned silver Lexus believed to have been driven by DeHart was found in the Wildwood area.

In a significant development, authorities arrested Marcus DeHart, Kenneth DeHart’s brother, for allegedly aiding DeHart after the shooting. Additionally, Carrie Mathews, believed to be DeHart’s girlfriend, was arrested for assisting him. According to court records, Mathews alerted DeHart to law enforcement presence, facilitating his evasion.

The community has rallied in support of law enforcement, with Blount County Mayor Ed Mitchell urging residents to report any information regarding DeHart’s whereabouts to the BCSO or the TBI.

As the search intensifies, tributes pour in for Deputy McCowan, who served with BCSO since 2020. A statement from Mayor Mitchell emphasizes solidarity with law enforcement and offers prayers for the recovery of Deputy Eggers.

The Maryville Police Department also expressed solidarity, extending prayers to the BCSO and the Blount County community during this challenging time.

Meanwhile, residents gathered outside the Smith Funeral and Cremation Center to pay their respects to Deputy McCowan and show support for the BCSO.

The search for Kenneth DeHart Jr. continues, with law enforcement urging the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings to 911 immediately.

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