Sheriff: Deputies involved in Friday shooting are on paid leave

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EAST JACKSON, Tenn. — There are new details about the two Madison County deputies involved in a deadly shooting in Three Way. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said sergeants Tom Knolton and Terry Stewart were the ones involved. Madison County Sheriff John Mehr will not say whether one or both of the deputies fired the shots that killed 18-year-old Dilon McGee. Mehr said both sergeants are currently off the job on paid administrative leave. Mehr said as soon as the TBI finishes its investigation, veteran officers Tom Knolton and Terry Stewart will be returned to active duty. Mehr believes the use of deadly forced was warranted. “Your safety, the threat of your life, somebody else is in danger of losing their life, then you would have that right to fire that weapon.” Mehr said Knolton and Stewart approached McGee and 19-year-old Robert Aspiranti on Friday outside the Maverick gas station because they knew McGee had outstanding warrants on violent counts such as aggravated robbery and aggravated assault. Aspiranti was not injured in the gunfire or crash, however he is behind bars on a misdemeanor count of drug possession. “Right now, we’re waiting to see his involvement in this case. There was a drug charge lodged against him because we did find drugs on him at the time,” Mehr said. Mehr said bringing in the TBI for an officer-involved shooting is now protocol for the department. According to county records, Stewart has been with the department since 2000 and Knolton since 1995. Robert Aspiranti will be formally charged with simple possession of drugs Tuesday in Madison County General Sessions Court. WBBJ 7 Eyewitness News requested to see Stewart and Knolton’s personnel files but was told it will be at least Tuesday before they are available. Mehr said there is nothing in either of their files to his knowledge.

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