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TBI: Man charged after officer-involved shooting in January at the Hancock and Hawkins County line

An officer was involved in a shooting on State Highway 31 at the Hancock and Hawkins County line.

HANCOCK COUNTY, Tenn — UPDATE (June 16, 2020): A Sneedville man has been arrested in connection to an officer-involved shooting in January.

Officials with TBI said deputies with the Hancock County Sheriff's Office responded to reports of a man threatening himself with a gun along Highway 31, near the Hancock County and Hawkins County line, and ordered him to drop the weapon.

The man was Charles J. Nicholls, Jr., 54, and he refused, TBI said. Deputies continued negotiating with him, authorities said. While they were negotiating, officials said the man made a sudden move with the gun, resulting in deputies firing at him.

He was sent to a local hospital for treatment, authorities said.

Nicolls is charged with two counts of aggravated assault, and was arrested Monday afternoon, TBI said. He was booked into the Hancock County Jail on a $100,000 bond.


A man threatening suicide on State Highway 31 Thursday morning is recovering at the hospital after being shot by Hancock County deputies, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. 

Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 8:45 a.m. Thursday, the Hancock County Sheriff's Office got a call about a suicidal male parked along Highway 31 near the Hancock County and Hawkins County line, according to the TBI.

When authorities got on scene, Charles John Nicholls, Jr., 53, was holding a gun to his head, the TBI said. 

"Deputies ordered him to drop the weapon, but he refused to comply with commands. Deputies continued to negotiate with Nicholls for more than a half-hour," TBI said in a release. "At some point, for reasons still under investigation, the situation escalated resulting in two deputies firing shots, striking Nicholls."

The TBI said he was taken to the hospital for treatment and no officers were injured during the incident. 

Credit: WBIR

Officials said this remains an active and ongoing investigation, as TBI special agents and forensic scientists work to gather any and all relevant interviews and evidence. 

"As in any case, TBI’s investigative findings will be shared with the District Attorney General throughout the process for his consideration and review," TBI said in a release. The TBI does not identify the officers involved in these types of incidents.

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