(10/27/2006)
State Police investigators are trying to determine this morning if a Roane County man shot at troopers before they shot and killed him.

Dead from the shoot-out is 33-year-old Brian Batten of Spencer, who fled into the woods near his mother's house on Arnoldsburg Rd. following an incident where he attempted to take her car.

Following a 911 call from his mother Linda Miller, Roane County sheriff's deputies arrived at the residence along US 33-119 about five miles east of Spencer.

Batten reportedly grabbed a shotgun and ran into the woods behind his mother's house.

State Police Sgt. Jay Powers says Batten fired a few rounds toward the house, which prompted a call to the State Police for further assistance.

A large number of officers responded to the scene, including the State Police's special "SWAT" unit.

Powers said the negotiations began when members of their K-9 Unit entered the woods.

Batten had reportedly been talking with Roane County sheriff's officers on a cell phone.

Powers says the troopers were speaking with Batten, but all they could see was his left side. He said Batten then turned and aimed the gun at troopers and was shot and killed.

Whether Batten fired first remains unclear.

"It was raining real hard and there were a lot of leaves and stuff," he said. Officers are in the woods today trying to find shell casings.

"We're still taking statements from our people along with any family members or anybody else who may have heard anything to try and find out what people heard and what people saw," he said.

Neighbors told the Herald there was one volley of five shots, along with other gunfire during the incident.

The body has been sent to the state Medical Examiner's Office.

Read earlier Herald stories.


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