KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Florida man arrested at an East Knoxville motel Wednesday night after allegedly shooting a police officer was also wanted for robbing a Verizon store in South Carolina earlier this week.
Matthew Pryor, 30, was arraigned Friday morning. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 2. Miami-Dade police were also in Knoxville Friday morning to question him.
Officers in Miami say Pryor shot at them when they tried to serve a warrant at his mother’s house Tuesday. Pryor then allegedly carjacked and stole a woman’s 2011 Nissan Rogue.
Police in Gaffney, South Carolina, say he robbed a Verizon store Wednesday morning in Gaffney, South Carolina. Officer say they were able to identify the suspect as Pryor through victim and witness statements as well as surveillance video. The Nissan Rogue was also spotted in a nearby parking lot during the robbery.
Knoxville police say Pryor rented a room for the night at Value Inn, 3207 Magnolia Avenue, sometime later on Wednesday. An officer spotted the stolen Nissan in the parking lot just after 8 p.m. and after waiting for backup officers to arrive, began going door-to-door at the motel, searching for the suspect.
When they arrived at room 316, officers say Pryor opened the door, quickly fired a shot which hit Officer Jimmy Wilson in the chest and slammed the door. Pryor refused to leave the hotel room for a time, but he later surrendered. Officer Wilson was not seriously injured thanks to his ballistic vest.
Photo gallery: Officer shot at East Knoxville motel
Pryor has an extensive criminal history, dating back to when he was 13 years old, including burglary, possession of cocaine, possession of marijuana, disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest with violence. According to police Pryor was released from prison in October. His earliest arrest was in 1997.
In Knoxville, Pryor faces charges of attempted first degree murder, possession of a firearm during commission of a felony and being a fugitive from justice.