December 20, 2006 - Knoxville Mayor
Bill Haslam and Police Chief Sterling Owen today named Officer Richard
Wallace and Officer Michael Price the October officers of the Month.
Officer Wallace and Officer Price have been with the Knoxville Police
Department since March 2005.
Chief Owen said that on October 31, 2006 at approximately 10:30
p.m. Knoxville Police Department officers were informed of a shooting
of a Knox County School Security Officer at Halls High School. During
the chaos of the initial scene, KPD officers were only provided
with very limited information regarding the suspect vehicle - a
white van with Virginia plates. Officer Wallace placed himself in
a stationary position on the shoulder of I-75 south in an attempt
to spot the suspect vehicle if it happened to travel that route.
Officer Wallace was watching for the suspect he noticed a car approaching
at a high rate of speed. The car suddenly swerved in front of him
and struck the guardrail narrowly missing Officer Wallace's patrol
The suspect continued south as Officer Wallace attempted to catch
up with the suspect while also calling for backup. Officer Wallace
managed to catch the white Chevrolet Impala on I-275 near Heiskell
Avenue. The left front tire of the suspect's car was blown off the
rim and was showering the interstate with sparks. The suspect eventually
stopped his vehicle just before the Oldham Avenue exit.
Chief Owen said, "Officer Price arrived to assist as Officer
Wallace cautiously approached the car believing he had merely an
Officer Wallace noticed that the driver was attempting to retrieve
or hide something under the seat while sliding over to the passenger
seat. With the assistance from Officer Price, Officer Wallace wrestled
the suspect out of the car and to the ground as the suspect was
pulling a .22 caliber pistol from underneath him. The suspect continued
to resist arrest and was only taken into custody after being forced
to comply by use of a taser.
Chief Owen said, "It was only after the suspect was in custody
that the officers were notified that the murder suspect had fled
from Halls High School in the school security officer's Impala and
that their suspect was the school officer murder suspect."
"Officer Wallace and Officer Price showed the very best in
professionalism, inter-agency cooperation, and dedication to the
citizens of Knoxville and Knox County in apprehending a suspect
responsible for the deadly shooting of a Knox County School security
officer," said Chief Owen.
Mayor Haslam said, "The suspect from this tragic incident was
apprehended swiftly due to the officers' quick thinking. We commend
them on an outstanding job."
The officers will receive a signed certificate from the Mayor and
Chief along with a free dinner from Ruby Tuesday Restaurant.