FRANKLIN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — What started as an overnight traffic stop turned into a police chase, a shooting, a crash, and a manhunt in Franklin County, which ended with three men facing charges.

Shortly before 12:45 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 29, Officer Clint Grant with the Estill Springs Police Department performed a traffic stop due to a traffic violation on Spring Creek Road, according to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.

Grant arrested the driver, identified by authorities as Tony Eugene Cannon Jr., for a Lincoln County arrest warrant.

In addition, Grant reportedly smelled marijuana coming from inside the vehicle, so he started removing the other occupants in order to conduct a probable cause search of the vehicle.

Officials said Grant removed the front seat passenger, Tony Eugene Thomas/Cannon Sr., from the vehicle, but another officer noticed him throw a pistol before he ran off.

Meanwhile, the passenger in the backseat, Dennis Evans, left the vehicle, but then he got back in and drove the vehicle away from the scene of the traffic stop, resulting in a pursuit, the sheriff’s office reported.

According to authorities, after Grant followed Evans into a residential trailer park, Evans fired five shots at Grant’s patrol vehicle, hitting the vehicle twice. Then, Evans drove the vehicle into the Elk River and ran away from the crash site.

Members of the the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the Winchester Police Department, the Decherd Police Department, the Cowan Police Department, Arnold Air Force Base Police, Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP), and the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency reportedly joined forces in order to track down the two men, with THP even bringing in a helicopter to help with the search.

Officials said Thomas/Cannon was taken into custody along Spring Creek Road by officers from Estill Springs, Cowan, and Arnold Air Force Base.

As for Evans, authorities said they formed teams to search for him on foot, but THP’s aviation crew spotted him in a wooded area using a FLIR camera, so they guided the ground teams toward Evans so they could arrest him.

The sheriff’s office reported that its personnel investigated the scene of the shooting, where they found five 5.56mm casings. In addition, about two ounces of a substance believed to be crack cocaine, about eight ounces of a substance believed to be marijuana, a second pistol, and cash were recovered from the vehicle involved in the pursuit.

Officials said the Franklin County EMA tracked down the gun believed to have been used by Evans to shoot at Grant in the Elk River. Meanwhile, the pistol thrown by Thomas/Cannon was recovered from the location of the initial traffic stop.

According to authorities, the three men are facing the following charges:

  • Tony Eugene Cannon Jr.
    • Out-of-county warrant
    • Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon
  • Tony Eugene Thomas/Cannon Sr.
    • Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon
    • Resisting arrest
    • Evading arrest
    • Public intoxication
  • Dennis Evans
    • Possession of a firearm during a dangerous felony
    • Unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon
    • Two counts of aggravated assault
    • Assault against a first responder
    • Reckless endangerment
    • Resisting arrest
    • Public intoxication

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Charges are reportedly pending for all three men in connection with the suspected drugs recovered from the vehicle.

“ESPD Chief Matt Baker and FCSO Sheriff Tim Fuller would like to personally thank every agency that assisted in this joint effort. The cooperation and teamwork between the agencies and the community allowed these three dangerous individuals to be captured,” the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office wrote on Facebook. “We would also like to thank the citizens who provided tips that assisted in capturing Tony Eugene Thomas/Cannon Sr.”