Catoosa County man killed by police after abducting girl from Knox County Tennessee

This release was updated to reflect minor injuries sustained by three of the law enforcement officers involved in this incident. At the request of 11th Judicial District Attorney General Coty Wamp, TBI special agents continue to investigate the circumstances of an officer-involved shooting in Hamilton County overnight, during the effort to recover a missing child from Knox County. Preliminary information indicates a man, identified as Edward Ahrens, 38, of Catoosa County, had an 11-year-old girl, the subject of a Tennessee Endangered Child Alert, in his custody and was traveling south on Interstate 75 toward Georgia. Multiple law enforcement agencies, including deputies from the Knox County and Catoosa County, GA sheriff’s departments, followed the vehicle as it exited the interstate at Exit 1 in East Ridge. An encounter ensued, during which preliminary information indicates Ahrens refused to comply with officer commands to surrender and attempted to hit law enforcement officers with his vehicle. As a result, at least four officers fired their weapons into the vehicle, striking Ahrens, who subsequently died. The child did not sustain injury in the incident. Three Knox County deputies sustained minor injuries and received medical treatment at the scene. 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 her 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. Ahrens was just released after serving 10 years in prison after he was convicted on 9 counts of child exploitation.

From the Knox County Sheriff’s Office:

The three KCSO Detectives sustained non-life-threatening injuries. We appreciate the community and their concern for our men/women. Any additional details about the incident will be available through the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation online.

February 2, 2024

The Investigation by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office into the disappearance of eleven-year-old endangered Aubriauna “Bree” Mays led Detectives to The Tennessee-Georgia line late Thursday night.

Preliminary information indicates that sometime after 1:00 am on February 2, 2024, Knox County Sheriff’s Office Juvenile Detectives and members of the Technology Crimes Division and Narcotics Unit, along with Catoosa County Georgia and other local Tennessee agencies, located the suspect and the endangered child, the suspect failed to comply with the demands of Law Enforcement and used his vehicle as a weapon by running over at least three of the Detectives causing officers/detectives to fire their weapons striking him. The suspect was taken to an area hospital; he was pronounced deceased a short time later.

At this time, this investigation remains active and ongoing. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is in charge and leading the investigation. TBI is working to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout their investigative process, the Knox County Sheriff’s Office will not name the Detectives involved in the incident. Per Knox County Sheriff’s Office policy, the Detective(s) will be placed on administrative leave with pay. We are grateful that Aubriauna, who was on the TBI endangered child list, was found alive and is now safe.

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