ALAMO, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee deputy has fatally shot a New Orleans man who tried to strike deputies with his vehicle, authorities said.
Crockett County sheriff's deputies initially responded Thursday after 36-year-old Rodney James Hess blocked traffic on a highway near Alamo, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
Hess was acting erratically, refused to obey orders and tried to strike the deputies at least twice with his vehicle, the statement said.
While events escalated, police say at least one Crockett County deputy fired his gun and struck Hess, who was taken to a Memphis hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
Hess is black. Neither the bureau nor the Crockett County Sheriff's Office would release the name of the deputy involved.
Hess' fiancee, Johnisha Provost, told The Jackson Sun that Hess was asking for help "and they shot him down."
Provost, who lives in Texas where she shared a home with Hess, said she wants people to know he was a great father and loved life. She said he suffered from bipolar disorder and said she could tell from videos that he was disoriented and lost.
Hess was in Tennessee visiting his mother, who lives in the Memphis area, and was on his way back to Texas when he died.
A woman identifying herself as an aunt of Hess' posted a video to Facebook that she says was taken by Hess moments before he was shot.
A relative of Hess' declined comment when reached by phone by The Associated Press.
Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesman Josh DeVine said the agency is aware of the video but could not confirm its authenticity. He said the agency plans to examine the video as part of its investigation.