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SULLIVAN COUNTY DEPUTY REMAINS IN SERIOUS CONDITION AFTER SHOOTING

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The Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office reports Deputy Steve Hinkle remains in serious condition following a shootout Saturday afternoon in the Blountville area.

Sullivan County Sheriff Jeff Cassidy said Hinkle was struck by gunfire while conducting a welfare check at the home of Jackie Scott Pendergrass on the 2600 block of Highway 11 West.

A press release issued by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said as deputies approached, Pendergrass fired at least one shot. After retreating, deputies attempted to establish communication with Pendergrass, who began firing again. Deputies returned fire and, at some point during the exchange of fire, Hinkle was struck.

At one point, when there came no response after several hours of negotiation, officers entered the home and found Pendergrass dead.

Sullivan County officers are heading up the investigation, aided by Tennessee Highway Patrol, Bristol and Carter county investigators.

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