Washington County VA

Details emerge in chase, shootout court hearing

JONESBOROUGH, Tenn. - We're discovering more details on a police chase that ended in a shootout with a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper.

We broke the story Thursday morning. Click here to read the original story.

Officials told us a chase down Interstates 81 and 26 stopped after the suspect's car crashed on Hog Hollow Road, then shots were fired.    

Two suspects were arrested; on Friday morning they made their first appearance in court.

20-year-old Derrick Kitzmiller's Friday morning arraignment painted a more detailed picture into what officials said put Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper Jeff Appleba's life in danger.

Police reports state a chase began after Kitzmiller was allegedly harassing another vehicle, possibly even attempting to pull it over in the Ford Focus he was driving. "The suspect vehicle was described as having a possible blue light flashing in the front window," said Judge James Nidiffer as he read aloud the affidavit.

We learned the chase topped 115 miles an hour at one point. The suspect's car crashed, and trooper Appleba heard gunshots. The affidavit states Appleba then fired 14 rounds of gunfire. "Appleba can recall at least two gunshots coming from the vehicle that crashed and there was a spent .40 caliber cartridge found on the driver's seat of the suspect vehicle, and then another .40 caliber cartridge found on the passenger," Judge Nidiffer continued to read.

Kitzmiller wasn't alone. Court records point to 35-year-old Jennifer Russell as the passenger of that car.

We learned from court records that Russell's charges deal with changing her license plate, running from police, and letting Kitzmiller driver her car on a suspended license.

"She doesn't have any sort of criminal history that we can find at this point, so we're trying to see if there's any additional charges that are going to spring up, which is quite possible here," said Assistant District Attorney Ryan Curtis.

More charges could be coming to Kitzmiller, too.   

Along with the flashing blue lights used to allegedly try to pull over another vehicle, investigators said Kitzmiller was wearing a jacket with a police-like badge on it. "At this time, there is no charge for impersonating a police officer, but there's certainly an opportunity for charges that may arise in the future," added Curtis.

Kitzmiller's bond was set at $121,000. Judge Nidiffer set Russell's bond at $16,000. Click here to view their mugshots and photos from the scene.

Both suspects are scheduled to appear back in court next week.

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