‘It looked like something out of a horror film’: Man threatens Tennessee deputies with axe, handmade weapon

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LOBELVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tense moments for deputies in Tennessee were caught on body camera footage.

A man is seen lunging at officers with a handmade weapon and an axe. The incident ended peacefully thanks to some good work by deputies.

“Put it down, put it down,” a deputy commands. What started as a call of an armed man took a dramatic turn for deputies who arrived on the scene in Lobelville, Tennessee Friday night. 

“It looked like something out of a horror film,” Sheriff Nick Weems explained. 

The suspect was waving an axe and a handmade weapon with skill saw blades at the deputies. He was also armed with a large knife, according to the sheriff. 

“Like a brush axe and the other one was a man-made pickaxe handle with two skill saw blades bolted to it,” Weems said. 

The suspect is 43-year-old Jesse McCrory, according to Weems, who is heard advising deputies on the radio.

“Tase him. Don’t get hurt. Tase him,” he said. 

In a small county like Perry County, the sheriff said they are often responding to situations where they know the suspect. That was the case.

“I got kids. You got kids. We all got kids. We all want to go home to kids tonight,” a deputy is heard saying while telling McCrory to put down the weapons.

“That’s what I consider a heroic line from my deputy. I think that may have triggered something to make him start to calm down a little bit. Made him think, ‘I don’t want to hurt these guys because they do have kids,’” Weems explained. 

Although the suspect is lunging at the deputies, they remain calm talking him through the situation as they move in close enough to tase and handcuff McCrory.

“I feel like if the officers hadn’t had tasers who knows how long that stand-off had went, or how it would have turned out. I’m betting it would have turned out deadly,” Weems said. 

The suspect’s plan was for deputies to take him out of his misery, something he admitted to in the video more than once. “I’d rather be shot than live the way I do,” McCrory is heard saying.

Perry County deputies have post-academy training, with much of it dedicated to mental health, in addition to 40 hours of annual in-service training according to the sheriff.

It’s training that paid off in this situation that could have turned deadly. 

“I really commend my officers for handling it. They [did an] excellent, superb job. I can’t find any fault in anything they’ve done before, during the arrest, or after,” he said. 

McCrory is now behind bars facing a number of charges including two counts of aggravated assault. 

According to the arrest report, McCrory admitted to being on meth and drinking. 

The sheriff said he hopes to keep him there and get him the help he needs for addiction.

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