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Fugitive fleeing police is shot by homeowner

Originally ran here as:
"Man Fleeing Police Runs Into House, Is Shot By Homeowner"
The Chattanoogan.com
February 16, 2002

East Ridge, Tennessee -- An East Ridge Police officer chased a suspect early Saturday morning who ran into a house and was shot by the homeowner.

John Sentell of the East Ridge Police said the unidentified officer observed a white Oldsmobile driving in such a way that the officer thought the driver may be driving while intoxicated.

He said the officer made a traffic stop on the vehicle in the 3200 block of Gleason Drive, which was also the location of an apartment complex known as the Ridgeview Point Apartments.

While the officer was talking with the driver of the vehicle, the passenger jumped out of the car and began running. The officer began chasing the passenger through the parking lot and into a section of apartments.

The passenger, Derrick Middlebrooks, who began running, ran to an apartment while thinking it was the apartment of a family member. He then kicked in the front door and ran inside screaming.

Officer Sentell said, "The homeowner inside was asleep and woke up. He told Middlebrooks to leave and that he had a gun."

Middlebrooks, who was still screaming, ran towards the bedroom where the homeowner was located. The homeowner told Middlebrooks again to leave. The homeowner then fired a .22 caliber pistol once hitting Middlebrooks in the left shoulder."

The homeowner said the police officer heard the shot being fired and was waiting for backup before entering the apartment. Middlebrooks then ran out of the apartment after being shot. Police then took him into custody.

Middlebrooks was transported to Erlanger Hospital, where he was taken to the operating room.

The driver of the vehicle, Eric Neely, was transported to the East Ridge Police Department for questioning.

Officer Sentell said Hamilton County had warrants on Neely and came to the East Ridge Police Department to serve the warrants.

He said Middlebrooks had a number of warrants out of Hamilton County that included domestic assault and probation violation. He was being charged with aggravated burglary and evading arrest.


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