Traffic Stop turns into Long Night for Law Enforcement

Early Saturday morning, just past midnight, Estill Springs Police Department Officer Clint Grant conducted a traffic stop for a traffic violation on Spring Creek Road. Officer Grant arrested the driver, Tony Eugene Cannon Jr., for a Lincoln County arrest warrant.

Officer Grant smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle and began removing the remaining occupants to conduct a probable cause search of the vehicle.

Officer Grant removed the front seat passenger, Tony Eugene Thomas Cannon Sr., from the vehicle. ESPD Officer Ashley Chambers reports she observed him throw a pistol. He then fled from the traffic stop on foot.

The rear passenger of the vehicle, Dennis Evans, exited the vehicle and entered the driver seat of the vehicle. He drove the vehicle away from the traffic stop, and Officer Grant pursued him. The pursuit entered a residential trailer park. Dennis Evans allegedly fired five shots at Officer Grant’s patrol vehicle hitting it twice. Evans then drove the vehicle into Elk River. He fled from the crash scene on foot.

Personnel from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Winchester Police Department, Decherd Police Department, Cowan Police Department, Arnold Air Force Base Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and Franklin County Emergency Management Agency converged to locate the two suspects at large. THP mobilized their helicopter to assist in the search.

Tony Eugene Thomas Cannon Sr. was taken into custody on Spring Creek Road by ESPD, CPD, and Arnold AFB Police.

Interdepartmental teams were formed and mobilized on foot to search for Dennis Evans. Using their FLIR camera, the THP aviation crew located Evans in a wooded area. The pilots guided the teams on the ground to Evans, where he was taken into custody.

FCSO personnel investigated the shooting scene and recovered five casings. They also recovered and processed the vehicle. Approximately two ounces of a substance believed to be crack cocaine, approximately eight ounces of a substance believed to be marijuana, a second pistol, and cash were recovered from the vehicle.

The gun that is believed to have been used by Evans to shoot at Officer Grant was recovered from Elk River by Franklin County EMA.

The pistol thrown by Tony Eugene Thomas Cannon Sr. was recovered from the initial traffic stop location.

The charges for each suspect are as follows:

Tony Eugene Cannon Jr.

  • Out-of-County warrant
  • Unlawful Carrying or Possession of a Weapon

Tony Eugene Thomas Cannon Sr.

  • Unlawful Carrying or Possession of a Weapon
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Evading Arrest
  • Public Intoxication

Dennis Evans

  • Possession of a Firearm During a Dangerous Felony
  • Unlawful Carrying or Possession of a Weapon
  • Aggravated Assault x2
  • Assault Against a First Responder
  • Reckless Endangerment
  • Resisting Arrest
  • Public Intoxication

Charges are pending on all three suspects for the suspected drugs recovered from the vehicle.

Lucky Knott

Lucky Knott

One of Southern Tennessee's most experienced and recognized news broadcasters and play-by-play sportscasters. News and Sports Director for Rooster 101.5 FM, 93.9 The Duck and Whiskey Country 105.1, and 95.9. He is currently the play-by-play voice of the Coffee County Red Raiders (31 years) on The Rooster 101.5 and can be heard M-F broadcasting our local news. Lucky has done play-by-play for 3,947 (and counting) sports events on Radio & TV. He also served four years as the Public Information Officer for the Coffee Co. Sheriff's Dept. and taught Radio/TV for six years at Grundy County High School.

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