Elizabethton officers return to duty after shooting investigation

John Thompson • Sep 27, 2019 at 4:11 PM

ELIZABETHTON — Two Elizabethton Police officers have returned to duty after a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation examination of a shooting earlier this month that left a man dead.

First Judicial District Attorney General Kenneth C. Baldwin announced the officers’ return in a press release on Friday afternoon.

“I met with the TBI agent earlier this week concerning the incident and also spoke with Chief Jason Shaw of the Elizabethton Police Department,” Baldwin said in the release. “After receiving the evidence and the TBI case file, there is no evidence to warrant any criminal activity on the part of the officers involved. This is a tragic situation that resulted in death.”

Baldwin said that on Sept. 16, Officer James Deese and Officer Jesse Richardson responded to complaints about a suspicious person near Academy Street.

When the officers arrived, a man later identified as Jeffrey Gibble ran from them. During the chase, Gibble fell to the ground, and Deese attempted to restrain him. Gibble fired shots at the officers, and the officers returned fire, striking and killing him.

Baldwin said he believes the Elizabethton department followed its own general orders in dealing with the situation.

“I appreciate the thorough investigation by the TBI and the cooperation of the Elizabethton Police Department,” he said.

Shaw confirmed the officers are once again performing their duties.

”The officers are back to work after a set of shifts off to ensure their physical and emotional well-being was taken care of in addition to the investigation of this critical incident. I am appreciative of General Baldwin's handling of this incident. I also thank those that have supported and given prayers for our officers involved in this incident,” he said.