An off-duty Cocke County Sheriff’s Department corrections officer was shot dead by a Greeneville police officer Monday afternoon after he allegedly pointed a gun at officers who were investigating a domestic dispute, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
The TBI identified the deceased as 29-year-old Travis Mullins. The TBI did not identify the Greeneville Police Department officer who fired the fatal shots or the woman Mullins had been dating. The preliminary investigation indicates that Mullins escalated the situation and left police with no good options, according to the TBI.
Prior to the fatal shooting, which occurred around 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot of Lowe’s on East Andrew Johnson Highway, Mullins allegedly intentionally rammed a vehicle driven by the woman he’d been dating and then fled. As police were gathering information from the woman, they received information that Mullins was returning to the home-improvement store, the TBI says.
Mullins, who was dressed in his corrections officer uniform, surrendered the firearm he was carrying. During the contact, for reasons still under investigation, Mullins was able to get back inside his vehicle and retrieve a second handgun, according to the TBI.
“At that point, Mullins reportedly pointed the gun at the officers, resulting in one of the officers firing shots, striking Mullins,” a TBI press release states. “He was pronounced dead at the scene.
As with all officer-involved shootings in the Third Judicial District, District Attorney General Dan Armstrong asked the TBI to lead the investigation. The results of the inquiry will be presented to a Greene County grand jury.
“This remains an active and ongoing investigation, as TBI special agents work to gather any and all relevant interviews and evidence,” the press release states. “As in any case, TBI’s investigative findings will be shared with (Armstrong) throughout the process for his consideration and review.”
Cocke County chief deputy Derrick Woods said Mullins had been employed with the Cocke County Detention Center since August 2017 and was an administrative sergeant in the facility.
Cocke County Sheriff Armando Fontes called the situation tragic.
“It is with a heavy heart that one of our own employees and friend, Travis Mullins is deceased. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Travis Mullins and for the Greeneville Police department,” Fontes said. “This is a sad situation for everyone involved. We ask for your prayers and support for everyone involved as we go through this tragic situation.”
Funeral arrangements for Mullins had not been announced in Morristown by late this morning.