(Image courtesy of the Associated Press)

Manhunt continues after veteran killed in Tennessee

May 31, 2018 - 8:30 am

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A veteran of the Marine Corp and member of Tennessee's Dickson County Sheriff's office, Sgt Daniel Baker was killed Wednesday morning. Police are now offering a $12,500 reward to help them find the suspect, a man charged the day before with hitting a woman and stealing her car.

Authorities identified the suspect as Steven Joshua Wiggins, 31, a white male with balding brown hair who they believe is armed and dangerous. State, federal and local authorities conducted a manhunt of the area Wednesday near where Baker was shot and killed while responding to a suspicious vehicle report. Authorities lost contact with Baker early Wednesday morning, and he was later found dead in his police car. Sgt. Baker served at least one combat deployment in Iraq before joining the Dickson County Sheriff's office in 2008.

Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe said Baker was one of the department’s best, a supervisor who had worked his way up to sergeant on patrol during his 10-year stint with the office.

Bledsoe said his agency has lost a brother, and the community has lost a hero.

“Our heart’s shattered with this,” he said.

According to The Tennessean , Baker was somewhat of a local hero. In 2013, he saved a woman from drowning after her pick-up overturned in an overflowed creek. In March of this year, he apprehended a gunman who fired shots at a local theater.

People in Dickson are remembering him fondly. Jason Pilkinton, the county's Planning Director says he talked with Baker about bass fishing just the day prior. “It’s kind of cliche that (police officers) are taking their life in their hands every day, but they are,” Pilkinton told the Tennessean. “A person just going to Walmart to buy groceries for their family is not pulling their car over, but Daniel did. He’s sacrificing himself every day.”

Baker is survived by his wife and daughter.