Rape suspect shot by Loudon County deputies identified

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LENOIR CITY (WATE) – A man wanted for rape is dead after he was shot by Loudon County deputies Wednesday afternoon.

Thongsavanh Vandarack, 40, of Murfreesboro was killed after a pulled out a handgun, according to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. They said officers were serving Vandarack a warrant for statutory rape at a home on Grandview Drive in Lenoir City.

Thongsavanh Vandarack (file mugshot) (source: Loudon County Sheriff's Office)
Thongsavanh Vandarack (file mugshot) (source: Loudon County Sheriff’s Office)

After Vandarack pulled out a gun, TBI said deputies fired their weapons multiple times, hitting him. He was taken to UT Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

“Right after it happened they were in total shock. They never had to shoot anyone before, they never had to pull the trigger,” said Loudon County Sheriff Tim W. Guider. Guider said Vandarack had a violent history and officers knew it

The Loudon County Sheriff’s Office says the two deputies involved are on administrative leave and both have been on the force for at least 20 years. They will receive mandatory counseling.

“They’re operating under the theory of what is commonly known as suicide by cop, there is strong indication that both he knew that this was coming and intended to do that based on a recorded interview with the suspects girlfriend,” said 9th District Attorney General Russell Johnson.

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