If you drive about 100 miles southwest of Chattanooga, you will arrive in Huntsville, Alabama. A police officer there was shot to death during a drug enforcement operation.
A Chattanooga man, 41, has been arrested and charged with murder. Law enforcement officials say the suspect shot officer Billy Clardy in the heart during a drug buy at a Huntsville residence.
Police had expected that a suspect would bring a large quantity of drugs to the meeting, officials said.
Authorities say the Tennessee man “immediately shot” the officer in the chest and then ran off. He was captured after a short chase on foot. According to news reports, the officer was wearing a bulletproof vest.
Reports also stated that Clardy’s father – also a police officer – died in a 1978 car crash while on duty.
According to a Chattanooga TV station, the suspect was arrested in October 2018 after leading police here on a high-speed chase. They had apparently tried to pull his vehicle over for a traffic stop at Jersey Pike and Hancock Road.
Officers followed him to Noah Reid Road, where his vehicle left the road and the struck some railroad tracks. No officers were injured in the pursuit, though three of their vehicles sustained damage.
The 41-year-old was also reportedly a person of interest in an August 2018 robbery in which he and another suspect allegedly impersonated Chattanooga cops, forced their way into a home and stole electronics and a vehicle.
He faces a number of charges in that case, including aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping.
News reports stated that it is not known if he has yet retained a criminal defense attorney.