WISE — A Warren County Sheriff's Deputy was shot and killed in the line of duty just after 10 a.m. Thursday.
Detective Bill Weatherly, 36, was shot in the face with a shotgun between the towns of Wise and Paschall, on Paschall Staton Road.
He knew that there was the potential for trouble, which is why Weatherly brought two deputies with him when he went to serve a warrant on Lawrence Attaway.
Attaway was wanted for failing to appear in court on a charge of assaulting an officer. The alleged assault happened in a courtroom.
"The Sheriff's Department had a warrant, and they were attempting to serve the warrant at the time," says SBI agent Melanie Thomas.
The SBI is still investigating exactly how the situation transpired. But police say that when Weatherly approached Attaway's house, he was hit with a shotgun blast to the face.
"He went to apprehend the suspect, and he had the warrant with him at that time in the Wise community," says Sheriff Johnny Williams with the Warren County Sheriff's Department. "He was shot and killed. We don't have a motive, other than that he had a search warrant."
Backup was called and after a brief standoff, Attaway surrendered. Weatherly's death has left the Warren County Sheriff's Department in shock.
Weatherly is remembered as an exceptional officer, who was promoted to detective after only eight months with the department.
"He was a very good officer," Williams said. "He was very well liked in the community. I did his background personally for his employment, and I did not find a bad comment or report from anybody."
Residents of the quiet, rural farming community are also shocked. "This is the first time this has ever happened in this little town. I can't believe it myself," says Marshall Rawles.
"As soon as I walked in here this morning, there was just people crying everywhere," says minister Dennis Retzlaff. "The people who knew him best were, of course, devastated."
Weatherly is a former Wildlife Resources Officer, and he had only been with the Warren County Sheriff's Department for about 15 months. andLen Besthoff