UPDATE: TBI: Hancock Co. deputies involved in shooting after responding to suicidal man

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UPDATE (1:15 p.m.) – According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the officer-involved shooting in Hancock County began when deputies were alerted to a suicidal man parked near the Hawkins County and Hancock County line.

The TBI reports that at 8:45 a.m. on Thursday, arrived at the location of the man along Highway 31 in Hancock County.

Deputies spoke with the man, later identified as 53-year-old Charles John Nicholls Jr, who was holding a gun to his head.

TBI says deputies tried to get Nicholls to drop the weapon, but he refused.

After more than half an hour of negotiating, the situation escalated and, for reasons still under investigation, two deputies fired shots at Nicholls and struck him.

Nicholls was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The TBI says he is still alive as of 1:15 p.m.

No law enforcement officers were injured over the course of the incident, and no deputies from the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office were involved.

The TBI and forensics teams are currently investigating at the scene, and Highway 31 will be down to one lane in the area until they have cleared the scene.

UPDATE (1 p.m.) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has confirmed that the shooting on State Route 31 in Hancock County was officer-involved.

The incident happened near the Hawkins County line.

A News Channel 11 crew said multiple agencies remain at the scene.

TDOT crews have one lane open at this time. The TBI has advised that the roadway will be limited to one lane for several hours.


UPDATE (Noon)– News Channel 11 has a crew at the scene of the shooting and said officials with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrived on scene late Thursday morning.

Tennessee State Route 31 remained closed at the noon hour.

Photo: WJHL

Stay with News Channel 11 as we continue to follow this developing story.


UPDATE (11:30 a.m.) – Tennessee State Route 31 remains closed between Mooresburg in Hawkins County and Treadway in Hancock County.

A News Channel 11 crew on the scene stated that when they arrived, first responders stated that the closed area was being extended.

This is a developing story. Look for updates on WJHL.com.


HANCOCK COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Deputies and emergency medical services have responded to a shooting on Tennessee (State Route) 31 at the Hancock County-Hawkins County line.

According to Hancock County Sheriff’s Office, one person was injured in the incident. That person has been taken to a local hospital.

HCSO officials stated that deputies were not looking for anyone in connection to the shooting.

HCSO told News Channel 11 that they expect traffic over the mountain will be rerouted for about an hour, until about 11 a.m.

Treadway Volunteer Fire Department officials said they are directing traffic on its side of the mountain.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation SmartWay map shows traffic is backed up south of Treadway before Fire Tower Road. It’s also backed up north of Mooresburg near Spruce Pine Road.

Hancock County EMS is also responding to the scene.

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