A confirmed member of the Aryan Nations white supremacist gang who was put on Tennessee’s Top 10 Most Wanted list on Friday after authorities identified him as the suspect who opened fire and wounded a veteran Knoxville police officer during a traffic stop Thursday evening has been captured, police said early Saturday morning.
“CAPTURED! Wilson was just now located in Blount County,” tweeted the Knoxville Police Department at 3:37 a.m, of Ronnie Lucas Wilson.
The 31-year-old man is believed to be the motorist who jumped out of his car and without warning opened fire multiple times on Officer Jay Williams, who had pulled him over on Washington Pike in Knoxville about 8:30 p.m.
“What the community should know is that this individual is armed and dangerous,” Knoxville Police Chief David B. Rausch told reporters Thursday night. “I would advise people if they see him not to approach him. If he took a shot at an officer, he wouldn’t hesitate to take a shot at anyone else.”
Rausch described Wilson as a known member of the Aryan Nations and at the time of the encounter with Williams, he was wanted on a probation violation for aggravated assault — a case that had initially charged as an attempted murder.
Williams, a 14-year veteran of the Knoxville Police Department was shot in the shoulder during the traffic stop and is expected to make a full recovery, Rausch said.
At the time he was pulled over, Wilson was driving a black 1970s model Chevrolet Nova with a red stripe on its hood, Rausch said. The car has since been found abandoned.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation added Wilson to its most wanted list and is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to his arrest.