August 22, 2013 Contact: Marian O'Briant
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Deputy on administrative leave pending outcome of investigation
Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong said the Blount County deputy involved in the shooting death of a man while performing a property check Thursday night is on paid administrative leave (per Sheriff's Office policy) pending the outcome of the TBI investigation into the incident and the Blount County Sheriff's Office internal affairs investigation.
Ernest Ti Ragland, 22, has been employed with the Blount County Sheriff's Office since December 2012. He works as a patrolman.
Statements Deputy Ragland gave supervisors at the scene were that he was performing a property check at a rental property on Mentor Road at 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. He told supervisors that he gave verbal commands, and fired multiple shots, striking Henry C. Taylor, 68, and killing him.
Twice this week the Blount County Sheriff's Office responded to the Taylor's Mentor Road rental property to take burglary reports. 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, Deputy Ragland responded to the rental property and took a report of another burglary of several additional items. Deputy Ragland informed Mrs. Taylor 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 Mr. Taylor in the garage.
"This is a very tragic incident," Sheriff 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. "
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