SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Wednesday marked one year since the passing of Sullivan County Sergeant Steve Hinkle, who was shot in the line of duty.
Sergeant Hinkle was shot while responding to a call about a welfare check on a Saturday morning in February 2019.
Sheriff Jeff Cassidy says Jackie Scott Pendergrass, 44, shot at deputies as they approached the house, forcing them to retreat.
After trying to communicate with Pendergrass, he opened fire on the deputies who then returned fire.
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Hinkle was hit during the exchange of gunfire.
Investigators say they later found Pendergrass shot dead inside the house.
Hinkle was the 10th Sullivan County officer killed in the line of duty.
Sergeant Hinkle served as a school resource officer at Sullivan Central High School for several years and before his death had been assigned to the patrol division.
On Facebook Wednesday, officials with the Hampton Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Department posted the following photo of Sergeant Hinkle and a message saying, “Please join us today as we honor our First Responder Brother in Blue, Sgt. Steve Hinkle of the Sullivan County, TN Sheriff’s Office. Sgt. Hinkle lost his life in the line of duty one year ago today. We covet your prayers for his family, his friends, and his department.”
In the Summer of 2019, a stretch of Highway 11W in Bristol was renamed “Sergeant Steve Hinkle Memorial Highway.”
It was just last month when SCSO officials revealed a letter sent to them by Special Olympics Athlete that depicted Sgt. Hinkle.
In the letter to Sheriff Jeff Cassidy, Matthew Pearson of Washington expressed his support for law enforcement and offered his condolences to the sheriff’s office and Sgt. Hinkle’s family.