Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong said the investigation into the officer-involved shooting death of Brian Lee Rogers on September 30 is concluded. After reviewing the findings of the TBI and the BCSO investigation, the Blount County District Attorney General’s Office ruled the deputy’s actions were justifiable based on the circumstances, and that the deputy’s actions were in compliance with Tennessee state law.
Deputy Jarred Pekala, the deputy involved, has been on administrative leave with pay since the incident, as per Sheriff’s Office policy. He will resume his duties next week.
The incident occurred September 30 at 3:40 p.m. when Deputy Pekala was dispatched to a residence on Emert Williams Road after one of Rogers’ family members called Blount County Dispatch and reported Rogers was acting erratically. Deputy Pekala’s in-car video shows that as he pulled up to the residence, Brian Rogers retrieved an axe and advanced toward Deputy Pekala’s patrol car. Deputy Pekala put his patrol car in reverse and backed up approximately 320 feet until he created distance between he and Rogers. When he stopped, he stepped out of his patrol vehicle and issued several verbal warnings to Rogers to drop the weapon, but Rogers did not comply and continued to charge toward him with the axe. As Rogers aggressively approached Pekala, he fired his service weapon, striking Rogers multiple times. Other deputies arrived and began to render aid to Rogers until AMR medical personnel arrived to take over. He was taken to Blount Memorial Hospital by AMR where he was pronounced dead a short time later.