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Young Deputy Sheriff Guns Down Air Force Vet in His Own Garage

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Funeral arrangements are underway for a 68-year-old Air Force veteran who was gunned down in his own garage by a young Blount County, Tenn. deputy sheriff.

Credit: Marcin Wichary via Flickr

Credit: Marcin Wichary via Flickr

Henry C. Taylor was inspecting his garage late at night after it had been robbed multiple times in the past week, according to WATE.

Outside, Deputy Ernest Ragland, 22, peeked through the window and spotted Taylor with his handgun.

That’s when Ragland yelled at Taylor before shooting him multiple times, instantly killing the homeowner and veteran.

Ragland had been outside inspecting the property after Taylor’s wife reported the most recent break-in to police three hours earlier.

Kayla Croy, who rented a mobile home from Taylor for six years, heard the shooting.

“I started hearing some arguing before the shots,” Croy said to WATE. “Then when the shots actually happened it was like boom, boom, boom, boom.”

After the shooting, police arriving at the scene told another neighbor who was out walking his dog to “get back inside” his house.

One of the commenters on the WATE article, Kim Crisp, said she knew Taylor personally.

“He was a very gentle spirit and wouldn’t ever raise his voice at all,” Crisp said. “He wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

“His is such a major tragedy now that the ones we are supposed to trust for our safety are no longer trustworthy.”

Taylor’s obituary states that in addition to serving with the Air Force for 20 years, Taylor “worked as a mail handler for the U.S. Postal Service for 22 years, was an amateur radio operator and retired as a captain with the Tennessee State Guard.”

The sheriff’s office has placed Ragland, who has been with the department for only eight months, on paid administrative leave.

This story is eerily similar to the Ft. Worth police shooting we reported on this past May in which two police officers shot a 72-year-old man six times on his own property.

A police affidavit later said that the officers “went to the wrong house because of poor lighting.”

In a released statement, Waller’s family said that they were “deeply troubled by the Ft. Worth police department misrepresenting details of the incident” in press releases and demanded an independent investigation.

As the Google Maps street view reveals, the house addresses on Waller’s street are marked on both the curbs (stenciled in black and white) and on the mailboxes.

Unlike the police officers involved in the Ft. Worth shooting, Deputy Ragland did go to the right house, but once again an innocent homeowner has been killed.

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LOUISVILLE (WATE) – A Blount County man died after being shot by a sheriff’s deputy Wednesday night.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says Henry C. Taylor, 68, was shot and killed during a confrontation at 1856 Mentor Rd. in Louisville.

Taylor and his wife owned the rental home.

Agents say the property has been the scene of several recent thefts and break-ins.

The Blount County Sheriff’s Office responded to the home twice this week to take burglary reports.

A deputy took a report Tuesday from Henry Taylor that several items had been taken from the property including an HVAC unit.

Deputy Ernest Ti Ragland, 22, responded to the home Wednesday evening around 7 p.m. and took a report from Mrs. Taylor of another burglary of several items.

Ragland returned to conduct a property check around 10 p.m.

Officials say he was inspecting the residence when he found a broken window at a garage on the property.

Deputy Ragland shined his flashlight inside the building and saw a man with a handgun.

Ragland told supervisors he gave verbal commands and fired multiple shots, killing Taylor.

Ragland was not injured.

“This is a very tragic incident,” Sheriff James Lee Berrong said. “Deputy Ragland was performing the promised property checks on the residence, and both individuals reacted. We are all deeply saddened by the chain of events that took place last night. ”

Several neighbors heard the gun shots.

“I was watching TV and I heard gunshots,” said neighbor Ron Storrie. “I’m sure it was a pistol.”

Another neighbor came out shortly after more officers arrived.

“I went down to the side of the road with my dog and an officer proceeded to tell me to get back inside my house,” said neighbor Nathan Wolf.

Taylor lived on Clear Springs Way, only one street over from where he was shot.

We reached out to Taylor’s family for comment, but they did not want to say anything about his death.

Taylor did rent out several mobile homes near the property where he was shot.

Kim Crisp and her daughter Kayla Croy have rented a mobile home from Taylor for six years.

Croy actually heard the gunshots Wednesday night.

“I started hearing some arguing before the shots,” said Croy. “Then when the shots actually happened it was like boom, boom, boom, boom.”

Both women say Taylor was an amazing human being.

“That man is an awesome, laid back, very hard-working,” said Crisp. “He works at the post office and the comes back and takes care of 11 acres. I think 11 acres out here.”

“He was an awesome guy,” added Croy.

They want some answers on why he was killed.

“I want to know why,” said Crisp. “I want to know why because he is not an aggressive man at all. There is no reason of them to shoot him down, no reason.”

Deputy Ragland has been employed with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office since December 2012. He is currently on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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