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TBI Investigating Officer-Involved Shooting in Hardin County

At the request of 24th Judicial District Attorney General Neil Thompson, TBI special agents are investigating a fatal officer-involved shooting in Hardin County involving the Jackson Police Department’s SWAT team.

Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 3 a.m. today, officers in Florence, Alabama, began pursuing a driver.  The pursuit proceeded through Lauderdale County, Alabama, during which deputies report being fired upon by the driver and utilizing spike strips in an effort to stop the vehicle.  The pursuit continued into Wayne County, Tennessee, along Highway 69, then into Hardin County.  The pursuit ended in the Walnut Grove community of Hardin County at approximately 3:30 a.m. when the involved vehicle became disabled.  According to information from the scene, the driver refused to get out of the vehicle or let the two passengers exit.  As part of a mutual aid agreement, the Jackson Police Department’s SWAT team responded to assist.  At some point during negotiations, one of the passengers was allowed to exit the vehicle.  At approximately 8 a.m., for reasons still under investigation, shots were fired, and the driver was hit.  He was pronounced deceased at the scene.  The deceased individual has been identified as Zachary Hoffman (DOB: 12/30/94) of Lauderdale County, Alabama.  Neither the passengers nor any officers were injured in this incident.

At this time, this investigation remains active and ongoing.  TBI agents are working to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews.  Throughout the process, investigative findings will be shared with the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration.  The TBI acts solely as fact-finders in its cases and does not determine whether the actions of an officer were justified in these types of matters.  That decision rests with the District Attorney General requesting TBI’s involvement.

The TBI does not identify the officers involved in these types of incidents and instead refers questions of that nature to their respective department to answer as it sees fit.

Any available updates on this investigation will be posted online at TBINewsroom.com.

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