CLIFTON, TN (WSMV) - A Clifton man has been arrested after the shooting death of a Hardin County deputy on Saturday night.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Todd Alan Stricklin, 48, has been charged with first-degree murder after shooting the deputy just after 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Hardin County Sheriff Johnny Alexander said Deputy Matthew Locke was killed in the shooting.
Hardin County Sheriff's Deputy Matthew Locke was shot and killed by Todd Stricklin responding to a domestic disturbance call near Clifton.
“Hardin County Sheriff Deputy Matthew Locke was assisting another deputy regarding a domestic disturbance call when he was senselessly fired upon. Deputy Locke ultimately succumbed to the injuries he tragically sustained while serving and protecting his community with honor and distinction,” Alexander said in a news release.
Alexander said in addition to serving as a deputy, Locke was also a member of the Tennessee National Guard.
“Our country has lost a hero. Our department has lost a brother. We will never forget Deputy Locke, and we are all forever in debt for his sacrifice,” Alexander said. “On behalf of myself and everyone with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, we express our deepest condolences to members of Deputy Locke’s family, his friends and loved ones. I also want to express my support, care and concern for all members of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Department, the City of Savannah Police Department and our surrounding colleagues from other departments as you are unfairly forced to mourn this tragic loss.”
"Last night, I was informed Hardin County Deputy Matthew Locke lost his life while assisting another deputy during a domestic disturbance call. Without a doubt, this was one of the hardest calls I’ve received during my service as Hardin County Mayor," Hardin County Mayor Kevin Davis said in a statement. "Deputy Locke was a deputy and soldier who served his community and his country with honor, courage, commitment, dedication and devotion. Deputy Locke was known to be a fearless warrior with a servant’s heart. Our community has lost a hero, and a family will never be the same, all because of this senseless tragedy."
The TBI said deputies with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office and Clifton Police Department were dispatched to the 3000 block of Nance Bend Road in reference to a domestic disturbance. Upon arrival, officers made contact with Stricklin, who was armed with a handgun. Officers ordered Stricklin to drop the weapon, but he refused. As a Hardin County deputy approached the home to assist, the TBI said Stricklin shot him. The deputy was taken to a local hospital where he died.
Todd Stricklin has been charged with first-degree murder after fatally shooting a Hardin County deputy.
Stricklin ran from the scene into a wooded area. Numerous law enforcement agencies responded to assist in the search. Stricklin was located a few hours later and taken into custody by Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers.
Stricklin was booked into the Hardin County Jail and transferred to the Chester County Jail after his arrest. District Attorney Matthew Stowe of Hardin County says he has assembled a 'death penalty team' to investigate.
“Upon learning the details of the shooting, I have activated the death penalty team who will be reviewing the evidence and charges to determine if this shooting of a law enforcement officer meets the standard for a capital murder crime,” D.A. Matthew Stowe said.
“We will not allow murder to go unpunished in the 24th Judicial District,” D.A. Stowe said. “While other parts of the country struggle with unlawfulness and activists who encourage violence against police, the people of our West Tennessee district stand firm in support for our officers and the rule of law.”