A man was shot by deputies while in a tree near the Bulls Gap VFW club Sunday night after he allegedly fired at the law enforcement officials. He remained in critical condition at the Johnson City Medical Center by mid-morning, officials say.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation identified the injured man a Michael Snyder, a 44-year-old convicted felon. It’s unclear how many times Snyder was shot or if he fell from the tree where he was perched.
No deputies were injured in the exchange of gunfire, according to the TBI, which does not identify law enforcement officials in officer-involved shootings. One Hawkins County deputy and one from Greene County fired at Snyder, according to the TBI.
District Attorney General Dan Armstrong said Monday morning he’s received preliminary reports about the shooting, but declined to comment until the shooting investigation is complete.
Around 9:30 p.m. Sunday, a Hawkins County deputy observed what he believed to be an abandoned vehicle in the Bulls Gap VFW parking lot. While investigating the vehicle, a woman, later identified as Snyder’s wife, called out and reported her husband had threatened to harm himself and had walked into the woods, according to the TBI.
Hawkins County deputies and a search dog from the Greene County Sheriff’s Department pursued Snyder into the woods after it came to light he was wanted in Hamblen County for failure to appear in court.
“Deputies located Snyder a short distance away and discovered he had climbed a tree,” a TBI press release states. “At some point during the confrontation, Snyder reportedly fired a weapon at deputies. One Hawkins County deputy and one the Greene County deputy returned fire, striking him.”