KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero weighed in Tuesday after a Knoxville Police Department officer shot and killed a suspect during a hit-and-run call Monday afternoon.
The Knox County Sheriff's Office is currently investigating the circumstances behind the shooting. KPD said an officer had gotten into a fight with a suspect during the call Monday, which they said led to the officer shooting them.
"I want to address the officer-involved shooting last night. We are deeply saddened by Mr. Pheap’s death. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and his friends," Rogero said. "We know that an outcome like this is devastating to the community and to our Knoxville police officers. Our thoughts are with the officer who was injured last night as well."
The mayor said she can't speak to the specifics of the shooting until the county investigation is completed, but said misinformation has been circulating about the circumstances of the incident.
"I urge everyone to remain calm and withhold judgment until the investigation is completed and we are aware of all of the facts," she said.
Dozens of protesters marched in downtown Knoxville to the City County Building to attend the 6 p.m. Knoxville City Council meeting.
KPD and KCSO have a memorandum of understanding between each other to investigate each others' officer-involved shootings. Rogero said the intent behind this is to remove any potential of partiality or bias.
Police and sheriff departments in Tennessee typically maintain these types of agreements with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. To date in 2019, the TBI has investigated 32 shootings involving other Tennessee officers.
Once the initial investigation is complete, deputies will hand their findings over to District Attorney General Charme Allen's office for review to determine whether criminal charges will be filed against the officer.
Rogero said the officer who was involved in last night’s shooting will remain on administrative leave pending the DA’s review, saying that is standard policy.
"I know we are all awaiting the completion of these investigations. But please understand that gathering the facts and getting to the truth takes time. I urge everyone to be patient," she said.