A Knox County man is facing attempted first-degree murder charges after he allegedly opened fire Sunday on police officers during a traffic stop.
Devin Damascus McGuire, 31, was caught about 7:30 a.m. Monday at a residence on Highway 11 and was taken to Loudon County Jail after law enforcement initiated a manhunt Sunday night in northern Loudon County.
McGuire was formally charged during a court appearance Tuesday with four counts of attempted first-degree murder, manufacture, sale, delivery of Schedule I substance, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, aggravated burglary and theft of property.
He is accused of firing rounds from a “high-powered rifle” at Loudon County deputies and Lenoir City police officers that hit patrol vehicles multiple times. He then fled on foot.
Search efforts focused on surrounding roads and communities between Martel, Shaw Ferry, Virtue and Muddy Creek roads and toward the Knox County line on Kingston Pike.
Don White, Lenoir City police chief, said the traffic stop took place near the intersection of U.S. Highway 321 and Highway 11.
“Lenoir City P.D. saw an individual that they believed and/or confirmed that she had active warrants out of Knox County on,” Jimmy Davis, Loudon County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy, said. “They attempted to do a traffic stop I believe at the east end of Lenoir City. The vehicle failed to yield. As they continued on we had vehicles close in the area around Shaw Ferry Road area and Muddy Creek area. We get behind the vehicle at Shaw Ferry. Right as we get behind the vehicle, or right before, LCPD advised that passenger showed a firearm, a long gun outside the passenger side of the car and fired it at them.
“We get behind the vehicle and start pursuing and several, three or four volleys of shots, a rough estimate of probably 30 rounds or so, separated by three or four times of shooting, fired at our officers, hitting one of our vehicles and hitting one of Lenoir City Police Department’s vehicles,” he added.
No officers were injured, Davis said.
“Basically to give you an idea of what was going on, he was basically seated on the window frame or on the door sitting out of the vehicle on that door and the rest of his upper torso was outside the car shooting back at us,” Davis said. “As they come around to Davis Lane below the church, the vehicle comes to a stop in the middle of the road. The passenger exits out of the vehicle. At that time they believe they see him holding a long gun, an AR-15, at that time he drops the rifle and takes off over the fence into the yard. There a female exits the driver side, immediately applies with commands and we take her into custody there.”
Asia Gillispie, 38, of Knox County, was charged with manufacture, sale, delivery of Schedule I substance, reckless endangerment and felony evading.
White confirmed the rifle was an AR-15.
Davis estimated 100 officers from local and surrounding agencies helped with the manhunt. He said the “biggest fear” was having to conduct door-to-door searches in a large area.
“We had people doing roaming patrols,” he said. “One of our K9s was back in the area where he had previously tracked right at the event once it happened. We did two reverse notification calls for the areas of the description. A gentleman that called it in, got out of the shower and noticed that had a light on, his rear motion light was on. Went and checked, turned it off and noticed his garage lights were on. Went out to the garage and heard someone in his garage. Went back in the house, called 911 and as he returned to the garage, the person that was in his garage was on his front porch ringing his door bell and we had officers basically in front of his house when he called. ... By the time he rang the door bell and then got to the sidewalk, we had made it on scene, gave him verbal commands to get on the ground and he complied at that point and was taken into custody.”
The arrest marks the end of a long night for law enforcement where fatigue began to play a role, Davis said. Surrounding agencies provided assistance either through K9 or helicopter support.
“The best thing it means to us is the residents in that area for sure can feel more at ease because obviously he shot at officers so he doesn’t care to use violence,” Davis said. “I mean he’s shooting at people that can shoot back. He’s shooting at them, so we were kind of fearful of him entering a home, because he already shot at officers. We were 99% sure he was armed, so we were worried due to the temperatures that he would break into a residence or do a home invasion of some type. That gave us a lot of concern for our residents primarily more than anything, and as the night went on, that kind of got a lot worse.”
Davis thanked agencies involved, including Blount County SWAT and K9 teams, Knox County Sheriff’s Office patrol and aviation divisions, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, Tennessee Highway Patrol’s aviation unit, U.S. Marshals Service, Loudon County E-911 Center and Priority Ambulance.
“Once all this started and he did flee from the vehicle after continuing to fire rounds at our officers, our main objective was to try to get him in custody before he injured anyone else,” White said. “Not knowing where he was at in the darkness of the night was just very concerning and scary for the residents that lived in the area and the officers that were doing the search obviously having to conduct that in the middle of the night. It’s just very dangerous, and so for it to come to an end (Monday) morning without injury was just a blessing.”