Tennessee officer wounded in welfare-check shootout dies

Steve Hinkle died Tuesday after he was struck by gunfire while conducting a welfare check.
(Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office)

A Tennessee police officer shot over the weekend when a welfare check morphed into a shootout has died, officials said Tuesday.

Police said Sgt. Steve Hinkle, with the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office, was shot by 44-year-old Jackie Scott Pendergrass on Saturday.

“Sergeant Hinkle proudly served Sullivan County with honor and distinction for over 27 years as a full-time employee,” the sheriff’s office said via Facebook. “He also served as a Reserve Deputy Sheriff for five years prior to his full-time employment.”

According to the Tennessee Bureaus of Investigation (TBI),  deputies were dispatched to Pendergrass' home after a welfare check was requested.

The suspect opened fire on police and then barricaded himself in the home, prompting an hours-long standoff in which police returned fire.


Hinkle was struck at one point and was taken to the hospital in serious condition. Police eventually entered the home to find Pendergrass dead.


The TBI issued a statement Tuesday confirming Hinkle's death. It said an investigation is ongoing.

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Every police officer has 50 cases to solve a year

Every police officer has 50 cases to solve a year: Workloads have rocketed by 45 per cent due to spiralling crime rates, research shows

  • The number of crimes investigated by an office has risen from 35 in 2013/2014
  • The College of Policing is concerned criminals are now slipping through the net 
  • Around 90 per cent of Police Federation members say there too few officers 

Police officers are being asked to solve more than 50 crimes a year each as their workload soars.

They are struggling with a mountain of cases amid record levels of violence and knife crime, research by the College of Policing found.

The average number of crimes an officer investigates has increased from 35 in 2013/14 to 51 last year.

Research by the College of Policing found that officers are being asked to take on more and more cases

The report raises concerns that offenders are slipping through the net due to the sheer number of cases.

The College of Policing also found that the cost to taxpayers of responding to and investigating offences has increased by 51 per cent since 2012.

This is partly because longer and more complex investigations often involve analysing phone and computer material. And whereas officers in the past may have focused on burglaries, now they deal with crimes such as historical sexual offences, which take more time to investigate.

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The figures come as a survey by the Police Federation revealed that 90 per cent of its members feel there are too few officers to meet demand.

It found that three-quarters of bobbies have to walk the beat alone.

The organisation, which represents 120,000 rank and file officers in England and Wales, said police and the public are being exposed to ‘increased risk’. Two-thirds of officers reported being physically attacked at least once in the past 12 months.


The majority of police officers now feel there are too few of them on the streets to deal with crime

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TSA officer dies at Orlando Airport after jumping from hotel into atrium; all flights briefly halted: report

TSA officer dies at Orlando Airport after jumping from hotel into atrium

A man has died after jumping from the Hyatt Regency Hotel into the atrium area of Orlando International Airport Saturday morning, according to reports.

The Federal Aviation Administration briefly halted all flights at the airport. Officials reported flight delays and massive lines at security checkpoints.


The man was reportedly a Transportation Security Administration officer who died in an apparent suicide, according to WPLG-TV.

“This is an active and on-going investigation,” Orlando Police wrote around 11 a.m. on Twitter. Police scuttled rumors that there were "suspicious vehicles" connected to the incident. One police Twitter post said the victim was in his 40s.

The incident caused security checkpoints to be breached, a spokesperson for the airport said, according to the station.


"In an abundance of caution, all passengers are being rescreened and inbound aircraft for airsides 2 and 4 may be delayed.  Allow extra time for screening as some there may be delays in the process," the airport said in a statement.

People wait to get through security at the Orlando International Airport following a security incident on Saturday, after flights were grounded following an apparent suicide. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP)

If you or someone you know is feeling suicidal you can get help by contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.

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Bodyguard reveals problem with minding free spirit like Meghan

Refreshingly the Duchess of Sussex wants to mingle with the crowds – but it’s a nightmare for bodyguards. As one quits, Diana’s protection officer KEN WHARFE reveals the problem with minding a free spirit like Meghan

  • The departure came after Meghan’s personal assistant also quit her position 
  • Detective Ken Wharfe was protection officer for Princess Diana over eight years
  • He writes that like Meghan, she wanted to get as close to people as she could

To an outsider, the life of a royal protection officer must seem impossibly glamorous — jetting off to exotic locations, rubbing shoulders with famous names and having the safety of one of the most recognised people on the planet in your hands.

But while aspects of that are true, guarding a member of the Royal Family is never easy.

The demands on your time are immense and you can’t relax for a moment. 

Which is why I have nothing but sympathy for the young police officer who made headlines when she whisked the Duchess of Sussex out of harm’s way on an overseas visit, now deciding to stand down from her role.

The bodyguard (pictured, left, protecting Meghan in Fiji) quit her position amid claims Meghan finds the security measures constraining

No one knows better than I do the pitfalls and pleasures of protecting a celebrated figure. 

For eight years I worked alongside Princess Diana — and before that William and Harry — when she was at the height of her fame.

Since news emerged that the Duchess of Sussex’s protection officer, who has not been named for security reasons, was quitting — she is also leaving the police — some commentators have suggested it must be difficult to guard a royal who likes to ‘go off-piste’.

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This, I take them to mean, is the notion that the Duchess of Sussex likes to interact with the public on her walkabouts, wanting to be seen as one of the people, and that she finds the presence of a close protection officer difficult.

Some also say this officer’s departure is because the Duchess is difficult to work for. I have no idea whether that is true, though she is the latest in a string of aides to have stopped working for her in recent months.

Detective Ken Wharfe (pictured with Diana) writes: ‘Diana was hardly the easiest boss. Like Meghan, she wanted to get close to people and to lead as ordinary a life as she could’

But I have looked at the video of what happened in that busy market during the Pacific tour last year. Certainly both she and the Duchess looked very uncomfortable. In my view, barriers should have been set up in advance.

After all, they knew interest in the Duchess would be huge — she was newly married and newly pregnant. Plus the extreme temperatures should have been factored in.

Also, why was there so little security around the car? It added to the vulnerability of the situation. What this all showed me was a general lack of experience. I also feel this is inevitable and will probably be repeated — because there is so little interaction now between the royals and those charged with protecting them.

There is no doubt that protecting Meghan is a demanding role. I happen to know there are concerns about her dysfunctional family, for example. The worry is that one or more of them might turn up not at the Palace but on one of her working trips, perhaps with a TV crew in hand to film the confrontation.

This, I would argue, is a classic example of where due diligence can provide dividends. 

Even so, you can still be caught out and in such a scenario my priority would be to get the duchess away and worry about any embarrassment over the encounter later. 

As for the couple’s plan to move to Windsor, that also represents a test. With such an open space as Windsor Great Park around them, it will be harder to secure.

The bodyguard (left, and, right, at Bondi Beach) has resigned following the departure of Meghan’s personal assistant 

It will be just one of many headaches for whoever becomes Meghan’s new police protector.

So what about the suggestion that, unlike those in the Royal Family who have grown up with a police officer always at their side, Meghan finds it constraining?

Well, first things first: only ‘blood’ royals have protection from the word go. Princess Diana certainly didn’t. 

And while near the end of her life she parted company with her police ‘minders’ — unwisely, in my view — she broadly adjusted to the inconvenience of having me and others hanging around whenever she was out and about.

There were times when we were very handy, parking the car for her so she could nip to the shops, for example, and providing money for those purchases because she never travelled with cash.

That said, Diana was hardly the easiest boss. Like Meghan, she wanted to get close to people and to lead as ordinary a life as she could. 

And as for going off-piste, she wrote the rule book, especially in those years after her separation from the Prince of Wales. 

To return to the present, I don’t know why Meghan’s protection officer is calling it a day. 

But to my mind, the resignation is symptomatic of the new way in which royals and other public figures such as ministers and prominent politicians are being guarded.

From the 1940s until its dissolution in October 2006, ministerial protection was entrusted to Special Branch. 

During my 16 years in royalty protection, I came across many of those keeping politicians safe. They were the cream of the Met, highly valued for their discreet efficiency and respected by their protectees.

The bodyguard (pictured right) is the latest in a string of aides to have stopped working for her in recent months

Royalty protection followed similar lines. Officers across both organisations were generally in the role for life, until retirement. Such relationships had advantages.

During my time as Personal Protection Officer or PPO to the Princess of Wales, I was able to engage with a wide circle of Royal Household employees. In my day, I had a bedroom at Kensington Palace, ate in the kitchen with the chefs and chatted to the housekeeper and the butlers.

I used to call the chauffeur a special constable because he was so invaluable. Likewise, I was able to pass on information that I had picked up to the staff.

But not long after Special Branch was disbanded, royalty protection was also overhauled. Four units were cut to two and senior management was slashed.

Money was obviously a driver in these changes but it wasn’t the only issue. Yard chiefs wanted to disrupt the cosy world of the PPOs, whom they believed were too close to their principals.

Throughout my time there was envy — especially from senior officers — at the relationships we built up with the royals, who of course always called us by our first names. They didn’t like that.

On one occasion, Diana was due

to launch a nuclear-class submarine from the shipyard at Barrow-in-Furness. Greenham Common was still in the news and I knew there would be CND protesters.

My advice was that we should arrive at the shipyard by helicopter, avoiding the demonstration outside. 

But this brought me into conflict with the local chief constable, who said there would be 2,500 disappointed people outside who just wanted to welcome Diana.

Even though I was a much more junior officer, we had a frank exchange of views until the Princess intervened to say she would be happy to come by road. I knew I’d lost the argument. But security was breached and a protester got up close to our car.

So while I was proved right — although mercifully the incident wasn’t serious — it was an example of the kind of authority invested in a mere inspector that the top brass didn’t like. 

Now a protection command unit covers royalty and ministerial protection, with officers drawn from a pool based in Lambeth, South London. From there, they are deployed as required.

This means officers are appointed on a short-term basis — and short-term relationships mean you can’t build the chemistry between protector and principal that is so important.

I know senior members of the Royal Family have been unhappy about this arrangement for some time. They feel the lines of communication and understanding have been lost.

With Diana, I had to apply my judgment based on the risks and soundings I had taken. 

So for example, if she wanted to go somewhere unaccompanied, I would say OK provided she ‘paged’ me or called me. It was about balancing her wish for privacy with her security. Happily, we got it about right. 

There is nothing wrong with royals ‘going off-piste’ but it did get me into trouble from time to time. On a private visit to the Bahamas, I didn’t tell Scotland Yard where we were going because the Princess didn’t want anyone to know.

But the bosses were not impressed when I presented them with a £3,000 bill for the rent of a house.

Of course, times change. I appreciate that. Royal protection is not about choosing someone who can run a mile in under four minutes or shoot a thousand rounds a minute — I never once drew my gun or chased after anyone. It’s much more nuanced than that.

But my fear is that those crucial working relationships between protector and principal have diminished to the point of disappearing altogether. And that could have serious implications.

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Police officer wounded, suspect killed in shootout near Dallas-area shopping center: reports

A police officer was shot late Friday night in Texas, officials said.

A police officer was hospitalized late Friday night after being shot during a traffic stop in Arlington, Texas, authorities said, but there were no immediate details about the officer's medical condition.

The suspect was also shot during the confrontation, and later died at a local hospital, Arlington police disclosed in a Twitter message.


Arlington police Chief Will Johnson tweeted that he was at the hospital where the wounded officer was taken. The chief said the officer was receiving "excellent care" and asked the community to "Keep our team and family in your thoughts and prayers."

The shootout occurred around 10 p.m. in Arlington, outside Dallas, FOX 4 of Dallas-Forth Worth reported.

The officer had signaled for a car to pull over, and the driver pulled into the parking lot of a shopping center, KXAS-TV of Dallas-Fort Worth reported. When the officer saw four people inside the car, he called for backup, the report said.


After other officers arrived, one occupant of the pulled-over car exited the vehicle and ran toward a store, KXAS reported. That suspect then fired at officers who were pursuing on foot, the station reported. Officers returned fire and the suspect was wounded, and later died at the hospital, police said.


It was unclear what prompted the officer to initiate the traffic stop. Police said the other occupants of the vehicle were later questioned and released.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Probation officer says thug who murdered man should have been in jail

Probation officer says violent criminal who stabbed young father to death after early release from jail SHOULD have been put back behind bars before the killing

  • Timothy Deakin, 21, stabbed Michael Hoolickin, 27, to death in Manchester, 2016 
  • Deakin was on licence having served almost five years for another brutal attack 
  • Inquest into death determined if Deakin should have been in jail before stabbing
  • Probation officer said she believed the threshold for recall had been ‘firmly met’
  • Deakin previously found guilty at trial and given a minimum of 27 years in prison

Probation officer Natalia Atkinson (pictured)  has said the violent criminal Timothy Deakin, 21, who brutally stabbed a young father Michael Hoolickin, 27, to death  should have been behind bars before the killing

A probation officer has said the violent criminal who brutally stabbed a young father to death outside a pub in a frenzied attack should have been behind bars before the killing.

Timothy Deakin, 21, who was on licence from prison having served almost five years for a separate savage attack, knifed Michael Hoolickin five times in October 2016, after the 27-year-old told him off for beating a woman. 

An inquest into Mr Hoolickin’s death was dramatically halted in June last year after the coroner called for an investigation into whether Deakin should have been recalled to prison before the fatal stabbing.

As the inquest resumed today, Deakin’s probation case manager Natalia Atkinson told the court that she believed the threshold for recall had been ‘firmly met’. 

Ms Atkinson described Deakin at one of ’50 high risk offenders’ she was dealing with at the time. 

The violent thug was suspected of carrying weapons, dealing drugs, mixing with a defendant from his previous conviction and had even failed 11 of his 15 drugs tests – testing positive for cocaine and cannabis. 

Yet despite Ms Atkinson claiming to have alerted senior probation officers about increasing concerns over Deakin’s risk of harm, he had not been sent back to prison.

Having been at large for eight months, Deakin stabbed the father-of-one and was ordered to serve a minimum of 27 years in prison.   

Savage attack: Deakin (left), who was on licence from prison having served almost five years for a separate savage attack, murdered Michael Hoolickin in October 2016 after the 27-year-old told him off for beating a woman. Having been at large for eight months, Deakin stabbed the father-of-one (pictured right) and was ordered to serve a minimum of 27 years in prison

The inquest heard Deakin was let out of prison on February 23, 2016, and was subjected to ten conditions – including that he initially stay at a hostel for newly-released offenders and abide by a curfew.

‘My case load was excessive – I believe the evidence suggests at times it was 170 per cent capacity,’ Ms Atkinson said. 

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‘The number of previous convictions and sanctions on record were indicative of someone who was effectively lawless,’ she told the court.

She described Deakin’s behaviour as ‘feral’ and ‘animalistic’ and said she felt he had enjoyed the ‘reputation’ his original offence had given him among his peer group. 

She admitted she was unaware at the time that Deakin had in fact been testing positive for cocaine, as she was ‘not aware’ where to look for drug results. 

Lawless and feral: Ms Atkinson described Deakin’s behaviour as ‘feral’ and ‘animalistic’ and said she felt he had enjoyed the ‘reputation’ his original offence had given him among his peer group. By June 2016, Deakin had been seen carrying weapons and spending time with his co-defendant from his previous offence

By June 2016, Deakin had been seen carrying weapons and spending time with his co-defendant from his previous offence.

Ms Atkinson said she then decided all options had been ‘exhausted’ and believed he should have been recalled to prison.

‘If it was my job to keep the public safe, then Mr Deakin wasn’t engaging in any of that,’ she said.

The court heard that for recall to be granted, a case manager’s recommendation has to be approved by a senior probation officer, before being signed off by a higher level manager. 

Ms Atkinson said she sent an email to a senior probation officer highlighting the intelligence from police about Deakin carrying weapons in June 2016, but received no reply.

Speaking at the earlier inquest hearing, Michael’s father Garry Hoolickin, a retired footballer with more than 200 appearances for Oldham Athletic, said: ‘As a family we want a definite change. We don’t want this to happen to another family. It’s nearly killed myself and my wife. It’s absolutely disgraceful, I think, what’s going on’

By that time, Deakin had already received a final warning from the probation service, the court heard.

Ms Atkinson said that after receiving no reply, she emailed a duty senior probation officer, David Rhoden, for advice following ongoing pressure from police about Deakin’s case.  

Speaking at the earlier inquest hearing, Michael’s father Garry Hoolickin, a retired footballer with more than 200 appearances for Oldham Athletic, said: ‘As a family we want a definite change.

‘We don’t want this to happen to another family. It’s nearly killed myself and my wife. It’s absolutely disgraceful, I think, what’s going on.’

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Police officer 'fighting for his life' after severe burns suffered in crash with drunken driver, authorities say

Officer John Daily suffered severe burns in a crash, authorities say. (Houston Police Department)

A Houston police officer who was supposed to spend Christmas with his parents in California this week was instead "fighting for his life" as he recovers from surgeries for severe burns suffered in a crash that was allegedly caused by a drunken driver, according to reports.

Officer John Daily, 25, suffered second- and third-degree burns to his arms, legs, face, stomach and chest in the Monday morning crash, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“They’re making sure to remove any of the damaged tissue, so that they’ll eventually be able to put grafts on them,” Houston police union President Joe Gamaldi told the newspaper. “Officer Daily is fighting through this recovery.”


The suspect allegedly plowed his vehicle into a patrol SUV that Daily was driving just hours before he was set to fly out to visit his family, according to reports.

Daily's partner, Officer Alonzo Reid, suffered less severe burns and was released from a hospital on Christmas Day, reports said.

As of Wednesday, Daily was heavily sedated and not talking, Gamaldi told Houston's KPRC-TV.

Officers John Daily and Alonzo Reid
(Houston Police Department)

The suspect, Cesar Collazo, was a block from his home early Monday when his Lincoln Navigator struck the Chevy Tahoe with the officers inside as they were on their way to assist another officer, prosecutors said. Collazo allegedly pulled in front of them while trying to turn, causing the police vehicle to flip several times and catch on fire.

"You have caused serious pain to families, and I just thank the Lord that my son is still alive," Lisa Malone, Officer Alonzo Reid's mother, told Houston's KTRK-TV.


A bystander pulled Reid out of the burning vehicle and they both pulled Daily out afterward.

Collazo told police his brother-in-law was driving the SUV, but eyewitnesses said he was the only person in the vehicle, the Chronicle reported.

Both officers have been with the Houston Police Department for just over a year.

"Our officer is supposed to be flying home to see his mother and father in California … but instead of going to see his family they're going to come here because they got a call nobody should get," Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo said during a Christmas Eve news briefing. "And that's that their 25-year-old vibrant son who is just starting his career with the Houston Police Department is in here fighting for his life."

"John's a tough guy," Daily's father, Olen Daily, said at the news conference. "He'll get through this."

Cesar Collazo, 23, is charged in connection with a crash that injured two police officers, Houston police say.

Police said Collazo, 23, drove away from the scene and was arrested minutes later. Prosecutors said his blood alcohol level was .157, almost twice the legal limit.

“Per numerous versions of his events of the night, he had been drinking throughout the day. We have receipts that confirm part of his day drinking. We are actively looking for the rest of the receipts,” said Sean Teare, division chief of the Harris County Vehicular Crimes Unit.

Collazo is charged with two counts each of intoxication, assault of a peace officer and failure to stop and render aid after causing serious bodily injury, which is the official charge for a hit-and- run. He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Prosecutors are also investigating the La Michoacana Meat Market to determine if Collazo bought beer there the evening of the crash.

Collazo told a judge he is a Mexican citizen and has been in the United States legally on a work visa. Prosecutors said the visa expires Dec. 31.

He is being held in Harris County jail on $250,000 bond.

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Georgia officer shot, killed during traffic stop, K-9 critically wounded, police say

Police officer shot in the line of duty in Georgia

A police officer in DeKalb County, Georgia, was fatally shot during a traffic stop Thursday, officials said.

The deadly incident occurred after the officer attempted to stop a vehicle. The operator got out of the car and ran, DeKalb County Police Chief James Conroy told reporters, according to Fox 5 Atlanta. A foot chase ultimately ensued, during which "the suspect produced a handgun and shot the officer," Conroy said.

The police chief confirmed that the officer had died as a result of the injuries.

"I have sad news to report this evening," Conroy said. "Tonight a DeKalb County police officer died in the line of duty serving the citizens of DeKalb County."

A K-9 unit was among the responders who later arrived at the scene, Conroy said. The suspect shot the K-9 after law enforcement located him behind a business, the police chief said.

"Several officers returned fire" on the suspect, who "received several gunshot wounds," Conroy said.

The suspect, described as an adult male in their 20s to 30s, also died, the police chief said.

Neither the officer, who Conroy said had been on the force for less than two years, or the suspect was immediately identified.

The K-9 was taken to a nearby veterinarian for treatment and listed as in critical condition, Conroy said.

Aerial video showed a swath of police vehicles that arrived at the scene.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was called to investigate the shooting, the agency tweeted.

Georgia Gov.-elect Brian Kemp expressed condolences in a Twitter message.

"We are forever grateful for his service and sacrifice," Kemp wrote about the officer. "Our prayers are with those who mourn."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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