(10/27/2006)
State Police say a Roane County man threatened to kill any police officer that approached him, according to Sgt. John Elmore of the Spencer Detachment.

An investigation is underway following the State Police shooting of 33-year-old Brian Batten Thursday evening.

Sgt. Elmore said 33-year-old Brian Batten made several threats to police and the public after fleeing into the woods behind his mothers' home on Arnoldsburg Road.

The Roane County Sheriff's Department was called to the scene after Batten allegedly attempted to steal his mother's car. Batten fled to the woods with a firearm.

State Police obtained warrants for Batten's arrest, charging him with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Sgt. Elmore said Batten sat on a rocky ledge above the house and made threats as troopers spoke to him for about three hours.

He shot several times at his mother's house with a 20-gauge shotgun and then went deeper into the woods, an area between US 33-119 and Egypt Ridge, about five miles east of Spencer.

Sgt. Jay Powers, in media statements, said police continued speaking with Batten over a cell phone as members of the State Police K-9 Unit entered the woods.

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

Sgt. Elmore says Batten turned the shotgun toward troopers "in an aggressive manner."

Sgt. Powers says whether Batten fired first remains unclear.

Elmore said police did not have a history of visiting the home and he did not think Batten had a history of making threats against the police or public.

In 2002, Batten was convicted of unlawful wounding for striking a man with a tire iron, so he was prohibited from carrying a firearm, said Roane County Prosecutor Mark Sergent.

Sgt. Elmore said "It's not an easy situation for the family or the troopers. No one wants to be involved in anything like that. But that is your job to protect others and protect yourself so you are going to do what's necessary."

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