Jonesborough police officer cleared in shooting death

JONESBOROUGH, TN (WJHL) – A Jonesborough police officer has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of a Hawkins County man earlier this year.  
Back in March, Officer Chad Reece shot and killed Mark Harrell Junior in Jonesborough after police say Harrell charged at him with a knife.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released an incident report and District Attorney Ken Baldwin cleared Reece of any wrongdoing.

It was an incident caught on several cameras.
Multiple officers with their guns drawn, pointing them at Harrell.

It all started when officers were called to the Country Inn and Suites on a complaint of drug activity.

"The individual got out of the car, they told him to come to them they wanted to talk to him. At that time he pulled a knife out and made the statement that he wasn't going back to jail," said Jonesborough Police Chief Ron Street.

Witness video shows Harrell backing up as he walks on East Andrew Jackson Boulevard in Jonesborough.

As he turns and begins to run, he trips. This whole time Street said he has a knife.

"He brandished a knife several times in front of the officers. They tried repeatedly to try to get him to drop the knife," he said.

Street said he refused to drop the knife and charged at officer Reece.

"The officer fired his weapon and ended the altercation," he said.

Street said Reece fired three shots at Harrell, hitting him with each round.

"It's split seconds that it happens. And as long as that individual or individuals are advancing toward the officer and he's trying to get him to stop, he will fire that weapon until the individual stops coming at him with a knife," Street explained.

He said the entire incident was caught on multiple cameras - from surveillance cameras, to cell phones and body cameras.

"That takes any question out of it that somebody might have later on," he said.

Baldwin cleared officer Reece of any wrongdoing after reviewing the incident report from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Chief Street said it was an unfortunate event, but said he supports Reece's decision.

"The officer had no choice other than to do what he did," he said.

Officer Reece was placed on administrative leave while the investigation was underway. He is now back at work.




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