WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – In the wake of deadly mass shootings of law enforcement officers this month in Dallas and Baton Rouge, a former Middle Tennessee sheriff knows what it’s like to try and heal from such tragedies.
“We lost two men 13 years ago this month,” said Terry Ashe, who was Wilson County sheriff when a young woman named Fallon Tallent ran over and killed two local officers. “I shed a lot of tears, and when I look back on it, it’s still pretty emotional because so many people depended on me to be strong, and so many people wanted me to be there for them.”
She was fleeing Knoxville in a stolen car after a reported week-long cocaine binge.
Wilson County Deputy John Musice and Mt. Juliet police officer Jerry Munday had just put down spike strips on Interstate 40 when Tallent veered into them on the eastbound side of the road, just west of the Mt. Juliet Road exit.
“Such a sad, sad day,” said Ashe, who is now Executive Director of the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association. “First of all, there is probably not a day that I don’t think about it and not a week goes by without someone who doesn’t mention it to me.”
As part of the healing process, a makeshift memorial remained for years at the site where the officers were killed, roads were named after the fallen pair, and their names forever etched into the history of both Wilson County and Mt. Juliet.
“What is going on now, and what went on then, is not about white, black or blue,” Ashe told News 2 Monday. “It’s about knowing right and wrong.”
In his current role following the shootings in Dallas and Baton Rouge, he plans to recommend new training and communication for sheriff’s departments across the state.
Tallent is currently serving two life sentences for the deaths of the two officers.