A Blount County Sheriff’s Office deputy who fatally shot a
property owner Wednesday night said he was checking on a garage when he saw a broken window, shined
a light in and saw a man with a handgun. After giving verbal commands, Patrolman Ernest Ti Ragland
fired multiple shots, killing Henry C. Taylor, 68, according to a release from Sheriff James Lee
“This is a very tragic incident,” Berrong said. “Deputy Ragland
was performing the promised property checks on the residence, and both individuals reacted. We are
all deeply saddened by the chain of events that took place last night." Berrong said the deputy is
on paid administrative leave, per Sheriff’s Office policy, pending the outcome of investigations
by TBI and BCSO’s internal affairs. Ragland, 22, has been employed by the Sheriff’s Office
since December 2012.
Taylor, of Clear Springs Way, Louisville, was shot
around 10 p.m. at 1856 Mentor Road, Louisville. The deputy was not physically injured in the
shooting, which occurred at a house the Blount County Register of Deeds says is owned by Taylor
and his wife, Cynthia Ann Houser Ridinger.
According to the Tennessee
Department of State, Taylor is listed as the registered agent for RTR Properties Inc., which was
incorporated in 1998. The principal address for the business was 1856 Mentor Road until April
2011, when state records indicate it was changed to 3348 Clear Springs
According to the Sheriff’s Office release, Ragland told supervisors at
the scene he was performing a property check at the Mentor Road rental property around 10 p.m.
Wednesday. He said he was checking a garage on the property when he saw a broken window and went
to investigate it, then shined his flashlight inside the building and saw a man with a handgun.
Ragland told supervisors he gave verbal commands, and fired multiple shots, striking Taylor and
Berrong said in the release that twice this week the
Sheriff’s Office responded to the Taylor’s Mentor Road rental property to take burglary
On Tuesday, a deputy took a report from Henry Taylor that
several items had been taken from the property, including an HVAC unit. At around 7 p.m. Wednesday,
Ragland responded to the rental property and took a report of another burglary of several
additional items. Ragland informed Cynthia Ridinger he would do property checks at the residence
throughout the night, and at around 10 p.m. he returned to conduct the property check and
encountered Henry Taylor in the garage.
The Alcoa Police Department as
well as members of the Blount County Sheriff’s Office SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) team were
on the scene Wednesday night.
Several neighbors, who were not identified,
said they heard what sounded like gunshots, but could not provide any other
The 5th Judicial District Attorney General, Mike Flynn,
requested TBI assist in the investigation. The TBI will complete the investigation and turn it
over to the District Attorney for review. TBI does not release the names of officers involved in
On Thursday, two TBI agents, along with TBI’s Violent Crime
Response Team from the Knoxville crime lab are currently investigating the incident with the
Blount County Sheriff’s Office.
Taylor’s body will be taken to University
of Tennessee Forensic for autopsy, according to TBI Public Information Officer Kristin
Taylor was a graduate of Carter High School in Knoxville and a
retired Air Force veteran, having served 20 years. He also retired as a captain with the Tennessee
State Guard and worked as a mail handler for the U.S. Postal Service for 22 years. Taylor was also
an amateur radio operator.
The family plans a private graveside service and
Miller Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.