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Manhunt Over: Kirby Gene Wallace Apprehended In Stewart Co.

Tennessee Highway Patrol
Kirby Gene Wallace apprehended in Stewart Co. after lengthy manhunt.

Friday 2nd Update: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office wrote on Facebook around 10:30 a.m. that Kirby Gene Wallace is in custody. According to the Tennessee Highway Patrol, Henry County Sheriff Monte Belew and Henry County Corporal Stacey Bostwick apprehended Wallace in Stewart County.

Local law enforcement expressed in a press conference on Friday relief and gratitude for partner agencies and the community.

Sheriff Belew described locating Wallace in a wooded area. He said it was luck that he and Bostwick were positioned well and "in the right place at the right time." He said he identified Wallace and drew down on him with an AR-15. He said Wallace was at first cooperative and came towards him, but then stepped behind a tree and emerged with his hands around his waist. Belew then anticipated there'd be a firefight, but said Wallace then put his hands back up and went down to his knees. Bostwick also drew down on him. Wallace was then cuffed. He had a loaded handgun in his waistband. Belew said it was fortunate there was not a shootout and said Wallace told him that it crossed his mind, but did not take that action.

Belew said he's glad Wallace is in custody and said everybody's tired. He credited the "absolute all-out effort of local and regional law enforcement." He also thanked the community for the outpouring of support.

Law enforcement said Wallace's vital signs were in normal range after an evaluation on scene. Wallace is en-route to Stewart County Jail. He will face additional charges related to the apprehension. Police would not comment on anything else in Wallace's possession at the time and any other comments he may have made.

Friday Update: Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said all roads in the county are now open. The search area has moved to Stewart County after a credible sighting in the Hayes Ridge Road and Wild Cat Creek Road area. 

Update: The reward for the capture of Wallace has been increased to $20,000.

Law enforcement from across Tennessee is on the scene in the northwest part of the state continuing the manhunt for an armed and dangerous fugitive. Police have a two-mile hard perimeter set up in Stewart and Montgomery Counties as they hone their search for Kirby Gene Wallace. 

Stewart County Sheriff Frankie Gray said in a press conference on Thursday the search is slow going due to obstacles and terrain. The area is rural and contains dense forest, holes, culverts, creeks and cabins.  He said law enforcement wants to be sure they are not overlooking or missing anything. 

Credit Press Conference Video Screenshot / Montgomery County Sheriff's Office
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office
Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson

Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson said they are turning over every leaf. Law enforcement are using aircraft and FLIR technology to locate Wallace. FLIR produces thermal imaging, night vision and infrared cameras. Fuson said "every angle" is being worked to locate the Wallace 

According to the TBI, Wallace is wanted in Stewart County on one count of first-degree murder, one count of felony murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of aggravated arson, two counts of especially aggravated kidnapping, two counts of especially aggravated robbery, and one count of especially aggravated burglary.

Credit Montgomery County Sheriff's Office
Montgomery County Sheriff's Office

Fuson said people living within the closed perimeter will be let into their homes, but others will be turned around. Gray said Wallace is familiar with the area and knows people living in the area. People are urged to not approach Wallace and if they see him to contact authorities. Families in the area are asked to stay focused and report anything that sounds different or doesn't seem right.

Fuson said if Wallace is watching the press conference or news updates on TV to know that police want a peaceful resolution to the manhunt. They ask him to turn himself in. "One way or the other you're coming in. We're going to drag you in kicking or screaming. One way or the other we're going have you in here. We do have resources here to make that happen. We want to bring this down peacefully so you can do yourself a favor and turn yourself in and we can bring an end to this."

See earlier reports.

Matt Markgraf joined the WKMS team as a student in January 2007. He's served in a variety of roles over the years: as News Director March 2016-September 2019 and previously as the New Media & Promotions Coordinator beginning in 2011. Prior to that, he was a graduate and undergraduate assistant. He is currently the host of the international music show Imported on Sunday nights at 10 p.m.
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