Family, friends, and his brothers and sisters in law enforcement are mourning the death of Hardin County Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Locke following a deadly shooting on Saturday night.
A statement from Hardin County Sheriff Johnny Alexander on Sunday stated, “Last night, Hardin County Sheriff Deputy Matthew Locke was assisting another deputy regarding a domestic disturbance call when he was senselessly fired upon. Deputy Locke ultimately succumbed to the injuries he tragically sustained while serving and protecting his community with honor and distinction.”
At the request of 24th District Attorney General Matt Stowe, TBI special agents began investigating the homicide of Deputy Stowe. Initial information indicates that just after 8:30 p.m., deputies with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, an officer with the Clifton Police Department, and deputies with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a residence in the Cobb Farm area on the Wayne/Hardin county line in reference to a domestic disturbance. Upon arrival, officers made contact with Todd Alan Stricklin, who was armed with a handgun. Officers ordered Stricklin to drop the weapon, but he refused. As Hardin County Deputy Matthew Locke approached the home to assist, Stricklin shot him. The deputy was transported to a local hospital, where he later died.
Stricklin ran from the scene into a wooded area. Numerous law enforcement agencies responded to assist in the search. A few hours later, Stricklin was located and taken into custody by troopers with the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Stricklin has been charged with one count of First Degree Murder. He was initially booked into the Hardin County Jail before being transferred to the Chester County Jail.
Hardin County Sheriff Johnny Alexander continued, “In addition to serving his community as a law enforcement officer, Deputy Locke served his country as a member of the Tennessee National Guard.
We remember Deputy Locke for his selfless dedication, absolute courage and unparalleled commitment. Our country has lost a warrior. Our community has lost a hero. Our department has lost a brother. We will never forget Deputy Locke, and we are all forever in debt for his sacrifice.
“In closing, we ask that the privacy of Deputy Locke’s family and friends be respected during this most difficult time. Please keep the family of Deputy Locke in your thoughts and prayers during the difficult days ahead.”
District Attorney Matt Stowe said that he is treating the officer’s homicide as a death penalty case.
“The case is presently under review by our death penalty team to assess fitness and appropriateness of that punishment. The review will take approximately 30 days. We are treating it as a death penalty case pending full assessment.”