Sevierville Police Department officers responded to a reported shoplifting at Wal Mart, 1414 Parkway on Saturday, March 24, 2018 at approximately 12:06PM. Prior to the first officer arriving, the suspect, 34-year old Jeffrey A. Todd of Sevier County, ran from Wal Mart to his car and began leaving the parking lot. A retired law enforcement officer told dispatchers that he saw the suspect run from the store and reportedly proceeded to follow the suspect in his vehicle.
SPD Officer Hannah Haggard observed the suspect vehicle, a Chevrolet Malibu, leave Wal Mart, proceed south on the Parkway and turn into Duncan’s Clothing, 1544 Parkway. Officer Haggard attempted to stop the suspect in the store parking lot, however the suspect left the parking lot and turned west onto New Era Road.
Officer Haggard discontinued her attempt to stop the suspect at 2148 New Era Road. As she was preparing to turn around, Officer Haggard observed that the suspect had crashed into a ditch a short distance down the road. As Officer Haggard approached the crash site, the suspect drove out of the ditch and proceeded east on New Era Road where he pulled behind the house at 2148 New Era Road.
Officer Haggard proceeded to the residence and observed a Kia Optima in the driveway and a man standing in the front yard holding a pistol. The man identified himself as the retired law enforcement officer who was at Wal Mart. Officer Haggard proceeded around the rear of the home and found the suspect in his vehicle. The suspect ignored her commands to stop and drove back down the driveway and onto the front lawn. As the suspect approached the retired officer, the retired officer fired three shots from a 9mm semi-automatic pistol towards the suspect vehicle. The retired officer later told SPD detectives that he was in fear for his life as the suspect vehicle approached him in the yard. The suspect was not shot and it has not been determined if any of the bullets hit the suspect vehicle.
The suspect fled east onto New Era Road, ran into a camper, drove over several sidewalks and grass areas and ultimately crashed on a steel gate at NASCAR Speedpark. As the suspect fled on foot towards the Parkway, an officer deployed his TASER, striking the suspect. After falling, the suspect quickly regained his footing and fled across the Parkway into the Duncan Clothing parking lot, where he was ultimately apprehended.
Mr. Todd has been charged with shoplifting, felony evading by motor vehicle, reckless endangerment, evading arrest, and resisting arrest. The Tennessee Highway Patrol is investigating the crash and may have additional charges.
The incident remains under investigation.
All persons are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.