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Press Release

HCSO Releases Names of Deputies Involved in Sunday’s Shooting


Hamilton County, TN – Following Sunday night’s deputy involved shooting, as per our agency’s standard operating policy, four deputies have been placed on administrative leave with pay for 14 days.

The pursuit began in Catoosa County and involved the reported kidnapping of an 18-month-old child and an armed suspect. The event culminated near the I-75 Ooltewah exit with an exchange of gunfire. The shooting would leave two of the responding deputies shot and the suspect deceased.

“After being with my deputies Sunday night both at the scene and at the hospital, it is apparent it is by God’s grace these two deputies are alive and were not more seriously injured despite being shot during this tragic incident. I am also incredibly grateful the small child involved in this incident was not seriously harmed. These four deputies, acting with courage and without hesitation, saved the life of this young child and had they not intervened and stopped this suspect, there is no telling how this situation may have ended. These deputies are heroes - Plain and simple. I am humbled and proud to serve alongside them and all the brave men and women of the HCSO,” stated Sheriff Austin Garrett.

The names of the deputies who have been placed on administrative leave after Sunday night’s shooting are as follows:

• Deputy Jorge Araiza

• Deputy Alfred Girardot

• Deputy Andrew Pierson

• Deputy Jake Thomas

Deputy Alfred Girardot was shot in the face and Deputy Jake Thomas was shot in the arm and hand during Sunday night’s Deputy Involved Shooting. Both deputies were treated and released.

Any further questions regarding this incident should be directed to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) or the Hamilton County District Attorney’s Office.

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Phone: (423) 209-7000