MARYVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – A Maryville police officer was shot and killed Thursday afternoon near Alcoa. The suspect, Brian Keith Stalans, 44, was taken into custody and is being held for investigation. Charges are expected to be filed Friday.
Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp says Officer Kenny Moats, 32, died at University of Tennessee Medical Center after being shot in the neck during a domestic call on Alcoa Trail. The shooting happened around 4 p.m.
Two narcotics officers, one a Blount County deputy also responded to the scene.
When the officers arrived, they parked around 70 yards behind the house and were able to take the victim of the domestic disturbance, Stalans’ father, to a safe area. They then got behind their vehicle, waiting on help to arrive while watching the house. As they were taking cover, officials say Stalans opened fire from the garage, hitting the Moats in the neck. He was rushed to UT Medical Center where he was later pronounced dead.
The other investigator returned fire. Another Blount County deputy arrived on scene and also fired at Stalans. He was taken into custody and is being held at the Blount County Detention Center.
Officers had been called to the house earlier in the day for another domestic call involving Stalans and his father. At the time, deputies did not have cause to arrest him.
Both Blount County deputies are on leave with pay, per standard procedure.
“We ask our citizens to remember this officer’s family. He has three small children. It’s a very trying time for his family. It’s a trying time for the men and women of the Maryville Police Department. It’s a trying time for the law enforcement in this community,” said Crisp, holding back tears.
Sheriff’s offices in Loudon and Anderson counties say some of their deputies are in Blount County and Maryville helping patrol. Numerous officers from multiple jurisdictions gathered at UT Medical Center as a show of support.
Stalans currently has an active order of protection against him in Sullivan County.
“It’s very hard. I’ve got several friends who are on the police force and it’s like a big family, you know. And to have loss like this is going to be a huge impact on the community,” said Michael Potter, a neighbor of the killed officer.
Potter said while he and Moats weren’t very close, they were close enough to know he was a good man.
“He was a very nice, kind man. Good family man. Always taking care of the people around him. I feel for his family, especially his wife and children,” Potter said.
A GoFundMe page was made to help support his children.