Man shot, killed by police officers

By Abby Morris
star staff
amorris@starhq.com

  Carter County law enforcement officers shot and killed a county man Monday night in front of his home while responding to a report of a domestic disturbance. The man reportedly pointed a shotgun at officers when they arrived and refused to disarm.
  Michael David Hoss, 55, 189 Hilton Hill Rd., was pronounced dead at the scene after he sustained a gunshot wound to the chest.
  According to the Carter County Sheriff's Department, at approximately 10:20 p.m., CCSD officers went to the residence on Hilton Hill Road on a report of a domestic violence incident in which a male was armed with a shotgun. While the officers were en route to the scene, dispatchers with the 911 Communications Center told them the caller reported that shots had been fired into the residence and that a female and a small child were still inside.
  Sheriff John Henson said that, prior to officers' arrival, the woman and child were able to escape the residence and weren't injured.
  "Upon officer's arrival, Michael Hoss was armed with the shotgun and refused officers' orders to disarm. The standoff continued until Michael Hoss stepped off the front porch of the residence and advanced on the officers," states a press release from the CCSD. "Again officers ordered him to drop the weapon and he refused. Instead, he raised the weapon in the direction of the officers on the scene. Shots were then fired and Hoss was pronounced dead at the scene."
  According to District Attorney General Joe Crumley, an investigation into the incident has been opened by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. "Since it was an officer involved in the shooting, I called the TBI and they assigned an officer to the case," Crumley said. "The TBI will complete the investigation and turn it over to me, and I will present it to the grand jury for review. At this point it appears that it will be a justifiable homicide."
  An autopsy has been ordered on the body to determine if Hoss was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It will also determine the officer who fired the shot that killed Hoss.
  According to Henson, there were four or five officers on the scene and two of them fired their weapons at Hoss when he pointed a 12-gauge pump-action shotgun at them.
  The sheriff's department is not releasing the name of the officers involved in the incident pending the completion of the investigation. "It's still under investigation so we can't say a lot about it," Henson said.
  Henson said domestic disturbances are always very dangerous for police. "Any domestic violence call you get is a dangerous call to go to," he said. "It's the most dangerous kind of call you can go to. We get 10 or 15 of them a day."
  The officers involved in the shooting have been given some time off from duty but are not on any type of administrative leave, according to Henson. "The officer will not be working. Whatever time off the officers need or whatever needs there are we'll make sure those needs are met," he said. "We're going to give them all the support we can."
  Counseling will also be available to officers if they feel that they need it, Henson said.
  Henson said he has been involved in a similar situation before with officers whom he described as veteran. "I know pretty much what the officers are going through because I have been there myself. It's not a good feeling," Henson said. "It's something that no officer wants to have to do."
  The last time an officer shot and killed a civilian in Carter County was in 1999 in the Happy Valley community.