A suspect wanted for attempted murder and kidnapping in Shelbyville remains in critical condition after he apparently shot himself when state and county officers approached him early Wednesday in Marshall County.
Thomas Lamonte Williams, 29, of Lewisburg, was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.
Shelbyville Police Detective Charles Merlo said Williams allegedly shot a Shelbyville woman in the head, kidnapped a second woman and forced her at gunpoint to drive him to Marshall County Tuesday night. When a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper stopped the car, Williams fled into a wooded area. Marshall County deputies set up a perimeter to stop him.
Lewisburg Police Capt. Rebekah Mitchell said Williams is wanted on several felony charges unrelated to the Shelbyville case.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation asked Rutherford County Sheriff’s K-9 deputies to help search for the suspect. Rutherford County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Kauffman of the Special Response Team said he, Lt. Kenneth Barrett and his K-9 Becky of the Active Crime Enforcement unit and Deputies Eddy Burns, Joshua Anderson and Matt Clagg arrived about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday to Marshall County where TBI briefed them.
“Lt. Barrett and K-9 Becky initiated a track with SRT members pulling security for the K-9 team,” Kauffman reported. “We tracked into a small pasture when Deputy Burns picked up a heat source on the thermal imager and the same time a gunshot wound rang out in the darkness.”
Officers set up a perimeter and Deputy Burns located the suspect lying against a tree about 60 yards away from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Kauffman said. For safety reasons, deputies held their positions until a THP helicopter pilot located the suspect and lit up the site.
“Deputy Anderson, Lt. Barrett, Deputy Clagg and I moved up Williams who was unresponsive as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head,” Kauffman reported. “I removed a small caliber from Williams’ right hand and turned it over to a waiting TBI agent.”
The suspect was flown by LifeFlight helicopter to Vanderbilt. Merlo said charges were pending against Williams. Rutherford County Sheriff Robert F. Arnold said the ACE and K-9 units have responded to help surrounding counties search for dangerous suspects or missing children.
“They have developed a reputation for being a respected and organized unit,” Arnold said. “Since its inception, they have been recognized by other agencies as being an elite unit. They are a very capable, professional unit.”
Capt. Mitchell said it was fortunate the suspect was stopped and contained. “We do appreciate your agency sending out the tracking units,” Mitchell said. Kauffman reported the ACE unit and SRT deputies did an excellent job.
“The TBI, Marshall County and the THP were all extremely impressed with the teams’ professionalism and performance and were very thankful for our assistance,” Kauffman reported.