Update 4:45 p.m.
The Sevier County Sheriff Department announced it is now investigating the shooting incident involving a man who originally claimed he was shot while hiking in the the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Officials said Sandford Lethco, 29, of Sevier County, admitted he was lying and confessed to park investigators that he was actually shot outside park boundaries at a private residence in Sevier County on Friday, September 7. Lethco originally reported he was shot while hiking in the Cosby area.
According to Sevier County Sheriff Ron Seals, investigators interviewed a man on Saturday who admitted to shooting into a vehicle as it was leaving his residence after he caught its driver stealing items from outside his Boyd's Creek home on Friday.
Investigators said they are still looking for another person of interest and witnesses to interview for this case.
He was flown to the University of Tennessee Medical Center where he was treated for two gunshot wounds to the lower leg on Friday, and later released, for his injuries.
The Sevier County Sheriff Department said the investigation and charges are still pending and is not releasing any more information at this time.
National Park Service rangers and special agents are continue to investigate a reported shooting in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
It happened around 5 p.m. Friday near Laurel Springs Road in the Cosby area.
Sanford Lethco, 29, of Sevier County, reported he was shot twice in the leg while hiking in the park, off the trail.
Lethco was flown to UT Medical Center where he was treated and released Saturday morning.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the park's tip line at 436-1580.
By Asheville Citizen-Times staff
Sept. 7, 2012
A man told rangers he was shot while hiking in the backcountry of the national park near Cosby.
Cocke County dispatchers received a call about 5 p.m. Friday from an individual claiming to have sustained gunshot wounds while hiking in the Laurel Springs Road area.
Responding rescue personnel located a 29-year-old male with two gunshot wounds to his lower leg. He was flown to University of Tennessee Medical Center for treatment.
The man claimed to have not seen his assailant, but said he heard two gunshots just before he realized he had been struck.
Rangers are working with the Cocke County (Tenn.) Sheriff's Office to secure the area along Laurel Springs Road, the closest road to where the shooting reportedly occurred.
"We do not perceive any threat to visitors inside the park as this incident occurred in a remote area well off established trails," said Chief Park Ranger Clay Jordan.