18-year-old Maryville man killed in confrontation with police

A Maryville man wearing a bandana and brandishing knives was shot and killed late Thursday night in a confrontation with Maryville police at a Foothills Mall Drive pharmacy.

The deceased suspect was identified as 18-year-old Daniel E. Pfeffer. The officers involved in the shooting were identified as Ronnie Pryor, an 18-year veteran of the department, and D.J. Porter, an officer with about a year with the department.

According to Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp, Emergency 911 dispatchers received a call at 9:13 p.m. from an employee at the CVS Pharmacy.

"A white male entered the store with a blue bandana and ball cap told a manger he wanted all the Oxycontin and Hydrocondone they had," Crisp said.

The manager explained that he wasn’t the pharmacist and that’s when a clerk nearby made the phone call to Emergency 911. She made the call in a generic way so that it appeared it wasn’t law enforcement she was calling. "That’s what we assume," Crisp said.

"The caller at the time said there was some type of trouble there," the chief said.

Crisp said that within 45 seconds, Pryor arrived, and customers frantically directed him to the back of the store where the Pfeffer had taken the manager. Pfeffer had a nylon bag with several knives and a hatchet that he held in a threatening manner on the manager.

Porter then arrived and entered the store. When they both spotted the suspect, they ordered him to stop, he refused and ran to the front of the store and exited the store. "He made two steps out, did a 360 and pulled the knives out," Crisp said. "He stopped and came back at them, and that’s when they shot."

The chief said the shooting occurred inside the building at the entrance to the store. Pryor immediately began CPR on Pfeffer while Porter called for medical assistance. The 18-year-old was taken by Rural/Metro Ambulance Service to Blount Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

As many as 12 people, including the officers, were in the store at the time of the shooting. The incident, from the time Pfeffer entered to when the shooting occurred, lasted about 2 minutes, Crisp said.

The chief said standard operating procedure is that the officers are on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

"Preliminary investigation indicates they were acting in accordance with the policies and procedures," he said. "We have an investigation to do, and we’ll do a diligent investigation."

Crisp said three shots were fired and that an autopsy would be performed on Saturday, June 2. The officers could be on leave up to two weeks. Crisp said the officers were "holding up" emotionally following the shooting. "In their own words they’re hanging in there," he said.

CVS reopened for business this morning. CVS management had no comment regarding the shooting and referred questions to the MPD.

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