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TBI investigating officer-involved shooting in Hancock County

STAFF REPORT • Jan 16, 2020 at 2:03 PM

SNEEDVILLE — At the request of 3rd District Attorney General Dan Armstrong, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation agents are investigating the circumstances leading to an officer-involved shooting that occurred in Hancock County Thursday morning.

According to the TBI, preliminary information indicates that at approximately 8:45 a.m. Thursday morning, the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a suicidal male parked along Highway 31 near the Hancock County and Hawkins County line.

Upon arrival, deputies made contact with Charles John Nicholls, Jr., 53, who was holding a gun to his head. Deputies reportedly 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. At some point, for reasons still under investigation, the situation escalated resulting in two deputies firing shots, striking Nicholls.

He was transported to a local hospital for treatment. No officers were injured during the incident.

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.

The TBI does not identify the officers involved in these types of incidents and instead refers questions of that nature to their respective agency.

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