Standoff with teen fatal for deputy

Sunday, March 14, 2004

LENOIR CITY, Tenn. -- The teenage son of a prosecutor killed a sheriff's deputy and barricaded himself in his home before he was found dead inside Saturday with an apparently self-inflicted gunshot to the head, officials said.

Michael Harvey, 16, was found in an upstairs bedroom of his lakeside home, said Loudon County Sheriff Tim Guider. He said the teenager had been dead for up to 20 hours.

Harvey fired on SWAT team officers Friday afternoon from the home, where he had semiautomatic weapons with multiple 30-round magazines. No shots were fired after that, authorities said.

"As hard as we worked to make contact and as patient as we were, we were hoping for a different resolution," Guider said.

Harvey's father, Frank Harvey, is an assistant district attorney for Loudon County.

The confrontation started Friday morning when officers went to investigate a domestic violence complaint from the boy's mother, who had fled to a neighbor's house. She allegedly was attacked with a pipe when she refused to let the boy drive to school after drinking the night before.

The first officer to arrive, deputy Jason Scott, was fatally shot as he stepped out of his car, Guider said. He was shot four times, and a second officer retreated under fire and called for backup.

"Deputies answered the call not knowing there were any weapons in the house," Guider said.

A SWAT team once made it into the garage before turning back, and robots sent into the house were blocked by obstacles. Four officers suffered minor injuries from debris when the teenager shot at them as they hid behind a woodpile.

Officers fired tear gas into the house but got no response, and the teen did not answer calls or efforts to contact him over loudspeakers. Some of Harvey's relatives went to the scene trying to coax him into coming out, a spokeswoman for the Loudon County sheriff's department said early Saturday.

The boy's mother was treated at a local hospital and released.

Scott, 24, was a three-year veteran of the department whose wife is expecting their first child. Through tears, Guider described him as "a wonderful young man, very lively, very friendly, very outgoing."

Ed Sullivan, Harvey's youth minister at United Church of Christ Church of the Savior in Knoxville, told The Knoxville News Sentinel that the teen slit his wrists last fall and spent some time in Peninsula Hospital, a mental health facility.

Still, Sullivan said he was shocked. "He's a quiet kid, a gentle kid," Sullivan said.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: