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Manhunt on for gunman who fatally shot Tennessee deputy

By Daniel Uria
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Manhunt on for gunman who fatally shot Tennessee deputy
A manhunt is underway in Tennessee for 31-year-old Steve Wiggins, pictured, who is a person of interest in the shooting death of Dickson County Sheriff's Office 32-year-old Sgt. Daniel Baker. Photo courtesy Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

May 30 (UPI) -- A statewide manhunt is underway in Tennessee for a man suspected of shooting and killing a Dickson County Sheriff's Office deputy Wednesday.

The deputy was found dead inside of his car in a wooded area after he failed to check in while responding to a report of a suspicious vehicle called in by a resident at about 7 a.m., Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Acting Director Jason Locke said.

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The TBI identified 31-year-old Steven Wiggins as a person of interest in the shooting, adding he is believed to be armed and dangerous.

The Dickson County Sheriff's office identified the deputy who was shot and killed as 32-year-old Sgt. Daniel Baker.

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Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe told The Tennesseean Baker was a 10-year veteran of the department and is survived by his wife and daughter.

"He's one of the guys who put his life on the line every day to keep the community safe ... he was doing that today," Bledsoe said. "Not only has our agency lost a brother, but our community has lost a hero."

Residents were asked to stay inside as state law enforcement agencies Tennessee Highway Patrol, FBI and U.S. Marshals searched for Wiggins.

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TBI also added Wiggins to its Top 10 Most Wanted list and issued a state-wide Tennessee Blue Alert, which is similar to an Amber Alert for when a law enforcement officer has been killed or seriously injured in the line-of-duty.

Bledsoe called on Wiggins, who had active warrants in two counties including one in Dickson County, to surrender to authorities.

"He needs to be held accountable for what we know he has done," Bledsoe said. "He has the option to do the right thing. People make mistakes and people do things that are terrible and this is an evil deed that he's done, but now he can show people that there's still something left in him by turning himself in."

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The TBI offered a $7,500 reward for information leading to Wiggins' arrest.

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