MONTEAGLE, Tenn. Authorities were searching Thursday for a man accused of shooting a deputy to death and wounding another law enforcement officer, a prosecutor said.
The officers were serving a warrant for probation violation when they were shot before dawn, said Steve Strain, an assistant district attorney general. A Grundy County sheriff's deputy was killed and a Monteagle police officer suffered injuries that weren't life-threatening.
The suspect, 29-year-old Kermit Bryson, was considered armed and dangerous. Authorities believe he is on foot around Monteagle, a town of 1,200 people along Interstate 24 about 35 miles northwest of Chattanooga.
"I think people need to be concerned," Strain said. "He shot a police officer and shot at another police officer."
Bryson was described as a white man, 5 feet 7 inches tall and 130 pounds, with green eyes and several tattoos.
The officers' identities were not released.
Hamilton and Bradley county SWAT teams were on the scene with tracking dogs, two helicopters and officers from a number of departments, wearing bulletproof vests and carrying rifles.
The area where police are searching is rugged, mountainous terrain at the southern end of the Cumberland Plateau.
State Correction Department spokeswoman Dorinda Carter said Bryson's criminal record included mostly theft and burglary convictions. He also was convicted of escaping from a jail in 2001.
Probation officials said the warrant the officers were trying to serve was issued because Bryson failed drug screens and violated curfew while on probation for a 2007 felony marijuana possession charge.
Bryson was enrolled in a community corrections program, which the probation officials described as more intensive than state probation and required him to meet with his probation officer twice a month.