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UPDATE: Fatal Officer-Involved Shooting Under Investigation by TBI

Photo by Blake Franklin / The Lexington Progress

Photo by Blake Franklin / The Lexington Progress

According to TBI Public Information Officer, Josh DeVine, TBI agents continue to investigate the late-night shooting, that occurred on Tuesday evening, January 10th, 2017. Devine, updated the media on the investigation, at this time. The TBI does not release the names of the deputies, who are involved in officer-related shootings. PIO Devine said, those questions would need to be directed to the officer’s correct departments.

Mr. DeVine said, “Overnight there was a team of forensic scientists, based out of Memphis, TN on the scene, collecting evidence. After collection and review of evidence, the TBI will turn all of the evidence over to the District Attorney’s General.” The TBI only acts as fact finders in these type investigations, DeVine sated.

PIO Devine said, at this point the TBI didn’t believe Mr. Barnhill was armed at the time of the shooting. The TBI was unable to discuss if the victim had any relatives who lived at the residence, also. He stated that there would be an autopsy performed in the coming days, that will give them additional information, to see if the victim was under the influence of any alcohol or narcotics. Officer DeVine was also unaware, at this moment, if officers had been called to the residence, in the past, at any time.

TBI Public Information Officer, Josh DeVine, was also unaware if the victim had any previous mental health issues, at this point of the investigation.

Mr. Barnhill was wanted on two (2) outstanding warrants for Failure to Appear, one (1) outstanding warrant for Aggravated Assault, and there was an order of protection against his girlfriend that he had yet to be served with, at the time of the incident, DeVine stated.

The TBI is working to determine exactly what set of events took place, late Tuesday night. They have information that the officers tried to deescalate the situation, and one officer apparently deployed a Taser, at some point, in an effort to stop the situation, according to the TBI Public Information Officer.

The TBI is working on piecing all the information together, at this time, along with witness statements and possibly statements from the officers, as well.

Per DeVine, he was unaware of how many times the victim was shot, but he believed it was to be one time. He also stated that is their understanding that only one Henderson County Sherriff Deputy fired his service weapon.

The victim was not wearing handcuffs, at the time of the shooting, according to Officer DeVine.

Officer DeVine stated that it’s not likely that an update would be in the coming days, due to the TBI not releasing much more information than they have already offered, at this time, due to this being an ongoing investigation and the time it takes to collect and analyze forensic evidence, and interpret those findings. That work will take quite some time, per DeVine. The TBI will also be waiting on the autopsy report, as well.

He stated that it could be a matter of weeks and months before the TBI has all the facts completed. Officer DeVine said the TBI would report to the District Attorney General, so that he has a contextual understanding their investigation, at any given moment.

It was unclear, at this time of the investigation, if the victim had reached for an officer’s weapon. The investigation will determine that, at a later date.

It was his understanding that the shooting incident occurred between 50 and 52 Tumbleweed Drive, according to Officer DeVine. He also stated he didn’t know, at what exact point between the two residences, that the Henderson County officer attempted to use his Taser.

Officer DeVine said, “The victim was banging on the door at 50 Tumbleweed Drive, and somehow we got between 50 and 52 before the shooting incident occurred. So, what happened between point A and point B is very much at the core of our investigation.”

DeVine stated, he was unaware of any injuries the officers may have sustained, at this time.

There was a weapon found at the scene, but it was a pellet/BB gun that had apparently been at that location for some time. The TBI does not believe, at this point, it is connected to this incident. However, they had an agent who has collected it and the TBI will analyze it, to determine, per DeVine.

DeVine went on to say, that the Henderson County Deputies do wear body cameras, but he was not going to disclose or discuss any of the evidence they had collected, at this point.

The TBI is leading this investigation, at the request of the Attorney General. This is standard protocol in smaller cities, according the Officer DeVine.

For continuing updates on this investigation, stay with The Lexington Progress.

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