Officers of the Month for October 2006 Honored

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Officers of the Month for October 2006 Honored

Posted: 12/20/2006
Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today named Officer Richard Wallace and Officer Michael Price the October officers of the Month. Officer Wallace and Officer Price have been with the Knoxville Police Department since March 2005.

Chief Owen said that on October 31, 2006 at approximately 10:30 p.m. Knoxville Police Department officers were informed of a shooting of a Knox County School Security Officer at Halls High School. During the chaos of the initial scene, KPD officers were only provided with very limited information regarding the suspect vehicle - a white van with Virginia plates. Officer Wallace placed himself in a stationary position on the shoulder of I-75 south in an attempt to spot the suspect vehicle if it happened to travel that route.

As Officer Wallace was watching for the suspect he noticed a car approaching at a high rate of speed. The car suddenly swerved in front of him and struck the guardrail narrowly missing Officer Wallace's patrol car.

The suspect continued south as Officer Wallace attempted to catch up with the suspect while also calling for backup. Officer Wallace managed to catch the white Chevrolet Impala on I-275 near Heiskell Avenue. The left front tire of the suspect's car was blown off the rim and was showering the interstate with sparks. The suspect eventually stopped his vehicle just before the Oldham Avenue exit.

Chief Owen said, "Officer Price arrived to assist as Officer Wallace cautiously approached the car believing he had merely an intoxicated driver."

Officer Wallace noticed that the driver was attempting to retrieve or hide something under the seat while sliding over to the passenger seat. With the assistance from Officer Price, Officer Wallace wrestled the suspect out of the car and to the ground as the suspect was pulling a .22 caliber pistol from underneath him. The suspect continued to resist arrest and was only taken into custody after being forced to comply by use of a taser.

Chief Owen said, "It was only after the suspect was in custody that the officers were notified that the murder suspect had fled from Halls High School in the school security officer's Impala and that their suspect was the school officer murder suspect."

"Officer Wallace and Officer Price showed the very best in professionalism, inter-agency cooperation, and dedication to the citizens of Knoxville and Knox County in apprehending a suspect responsible for the deadly shooting of a Knox County School security officer," said Chief Owen.

Mayor Haslam said, "The suspect from this tragic incident was apprehended swiftly due to the officers' quick thinking. We commend them on an outstanding job."

The officers will receive a signed certificate from the Mayor and Chief along with a free dinner from Ruby Tuesday Restaurant.