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Tennessee authorities search for suspect in shooting of 2 sheriff’s deputies

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Authorities in eastern Tennessee were searching early Friday for a suspect they say was involved in a shooting that left one deputy dead and another injured.

Arrest warrants have been issued for 42-year-old Kenneth Dehart, who is wanted on suspicion of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and being a felon in possession of a firearm after the Thursday night shooting, said Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong in posts on the department’s Facebook page.

Deputy Greg McCowan was killed in the shooting during a traffic stop. A female officer was shot in the leg and returned fire. She was treated at a hospital, Berrong said.

“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. We had an officer killed tonight,” Berrong said during a news conference in which he was visibly upset. “I’m so sorry we lost a young man. I’ve spoken to his family before. I apologized for not protecting him.”

A $10,000 reward has been offered, Berrong said.

“We are going to take this man off the streets of East Tennessee and put him behind bars,” he said.

Multiple law enforcement agencies were involved in the hunt for Dehart, who should be considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached if spotted, the sheriff’s office said.

Dehart was last seen in the town of Maryville, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said on social media.

Maryville is located in Blount County, about 17 miles south of Knoxville.