Veteran Detective Shot in Defense; Suspect to be Charged

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A veteran detective is back on duty after a TBI investigation and review of their findings by 16th Judicial District Attorney General Jennings Jones.

Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said "In a May 5th letter to TBI, General Jones found Detective Ty Downing's shooting justified and that he acted appropriately." The shooting happened on April 12.

Another RCSO detective obtained warrants yesterday for attempted murder and resisting arrest against Jeffery Underhill, 54.


Those will be served after Underhill is released from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Fitzhugh said.

An aggravated domestic violence warrant was issued April 10 against Underhill after he struck his wife in the face with the barrel of a shotgun and fled the scene, the sheriff said.


Downing, 48, went to their 427 Double Springs Road home the afternoon of April 12 to speak to the victim, but had the warrant with him, the sheriff said.

When Downing made contact with Underhill in the yard he told the suspect he was under arrest and went to cuff him.

Underhill began resisting, punching the 24-year-veteran in the face. Downing punched back and put Underhill on his back.

As the detective leaned over to roll Underhill and handcuff, the suspect pulled a revolver from his pocket.

Downing, a husband, father and grandfather, drew his service pistol and shot twice in defense of his life, the sheriff said.

"Ty has been a great officer for us since 1997," Sheriff Fitzhugh said. "He'd worked four years at both a Southern California agency and Woodbury Police Department before coming to us.

"We're pleased he's back on the job."

Downing is part of the Criminal Investigations Division's Family Crimes Unit.

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16th Judicial District Attorney General Jennings Jones, Jeffery Underhill, Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh, shooting, Ty Downing
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