22-year-old deputy kills 68-year-old vet who was inspecting damage done to his property.

August 26, 2013

Funeral arrangements are underway for a 68-year-old Air Force veteran who was gunned down in his own garage by a young Blount County, Tenn. deputy sheriff.

Credit: Marcin Wichary via Flickr
Credit: Marcin Wichary via Flickr

Henry C. Taylor was inspecting his garage late at night after it had been robbed multiple times in the past week, according to WATE.

Outside, Deputy Ernest Ragland, 22, peeked through the window and spotted Taylor with his handgun.

That’s when Ragland yelled at Taylor before shooting him multiple times, instantly killing the homeowner and veteran.

Ragland had been outside inspecting the property after Taylor’s wife reported the most recent break-in to police three hours earlier.

Kayla Croy, who rented a mobile home from Taylor for six years, heard the shooting.

“I started hearing some arguing before the shots,” Croy said to WATE. “Then when the shots actually happened it was like boom, boom, boom, boom.”

After the shooting, police arriving at the scene told another neighbor who was out walking his dog to “get back inside” his house.

One of the commenters on the WATE article, Kim Crisp, said she knew Taylor personally.

“He was a very gentle spirit and wouldn’t ever raise his voice at all,” Crisp said. “He wouldn’t hurt anyone.”

“His is such a major tragedy now that the ones we are supposed to trust for our safety are no longer trustworthy.”

Taylor’s obituary states that in addition to serving with the Air Force for 20 years, Taylor “worked as a mail handler for the U.S. Postal Service for 22 years, was an amateur radio operator and retired as a captain with the Tennessee State Guard.”

The sheriff’s office has placed Ragland, who has been with the department for only eight months, on paid administrative leave.

This story is eerily similar to the Ft. Worth police shooting we reported on this past May in which two police officers shot 72-year-old Jerry Wayne Waller six times on his own property.

A police affidavit later said that the officers “went to the wrong house because of poor lighting.”

In a released statement, Waller’s family said that they were “deeply troubled by the Ft. Worth police department misrepresenting details of the incident” in press releases and demanded an independent investigation.

As the Google Maps street view reveals, the house addresses on Waller’s street are marked on both the curbs (stenciled in black and white) and on the mailboxes.

Unlike the police officers involved in the Ft. Worth shooting, Deputy Ragland did go to the right house, but once again an innocent homeowner has been killed.

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