Manhunt is underway for 2nd suspect in Tennessee deputy's fatal shooting

One day before allegedly shooting a Dickson County, Tennessee, sheriff's deputy, Steven Joshua Wiggins was charged wi...

Posted: Jun 1, 2018 10:04 AM
Updated: Jun 1, 2018 10:04 AM

One day before allegedly shooting a Dickson County, Tennessee, sheriff's deputy, Steven Joshua Wiggins was charged with aggravated assault for slapping and pulling the hair of a woman he also threatened with a gun, according to a police report.

Erika Castro-Miles, described as an acquaintance of the suspect, told police Wiggins had been "doing meth all night and smoking marijuana" before assaulting her and stealing her car from a motel in Kingston Springs, the police report said. He got away.

A 911 call reporting a suspicious vehicle in the rural Middle Tennessee area on Wednesday morning ended with the slaying of Dickson County Sheriff's Deputy Sgt. Daniel Baker.

The manhunt for Wiggins, 31, continued into Thursday evening along winding, treacherous terrain about 40 miles west of Nashville, authorities said.

Hours earlier, Castro-Miles was charged with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the death, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Castro-Miles, 38, was seated in the deputy's vehicle with Wiggins and saw the suspect allegedly shot Baker, 32, according to a criminal court affidavit. The woman fled and hid under a house before she was arrested.

Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe said he saw video from the shooting scene Thursday that left him "even more heartbroken" about what Baker endured.

"When you're able to witness that from our video, it's more disturbing," he said, without elaborating.

A line of TBI employees stood at attention Thursday afternoon as a procession of sheriff's department vehicles escorted Baker's body from the medical examiner's office in Nashville to a funeral home in downtown Dixon, according to a tweet from the bureau.

Baker, a 10-year law enforcement veteran and former US Marine, had responded to a resident's call about a suspicious vehicle about 7 a.m. Wednesday in Dickson County, said Susan Niland, a spokeswoman for the Tennessee agency.

After a period of not being able to contact the deputy, authorities tracked down Baker's vehicle with GPS in a wooded area about 2 miles from the location of the initial call by an officer from another agency. Baker was found dead in his vehicle.

Reward offered in suspect's capture

Authorities said the search for Wiggins, who has a history of violent crimes, continued Thursday along swaths of Dickson County. The manhunt involved US marshals as well as local canine and aviation units.

"The terrain can be treacherous," Bledsoe told reporters. "It can be very demanding and trying."

Bledsoe said investigators believe Wiggins could be on foot in the area.

"There will be no rest until he's taken into custody," he said.

Niland said more than 100 tips on Wiggins' possible whereabouts had come in from around the country. She asked residents to report any suspicious activity.

"Because he is likely in a very desperate situation, he could be trying to take items or access areas," she said of the suspect. "So if anyone in the area does see anything in their property that looks amiss, please contact authorities."

Wiggins, 31, who was last seen wearing a black polo shirt and jeans, was identified from surveillance video and information collected at the scene, Niland said.

"You can see what can transpire from something that we think is just a suspicious vehicle," an emotional Bledsoe said earlier.

Wiggins has been added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's 10 most-wanted list.

A reward for information leading to Wiggins' capture on Thursday grew to $46,000 after contributions from Gov. Bill Haslam, federal law enforcement agencies and police associations from various cities.

A 'faithful servant'

Baker joined the sheriff's office full time in 2008 and became a member of the special operations unit in 2013, according to the sheriff. He was married with a daughter.

"There's not much I can say today other than our hearts are shattered," Bledsoe said.

"This is one of our best deputies. He's a supervisor. He's worked his way up to sergeant on patrol. He's one of the guys who puts it on the line every day to keep our community safe."

A friend of Baker's set up a GoFundMe page for the family of the slain deputy, who had recently purchased a home.

"He is one of the most courageous, loving, and hard working (men) I know and he would be the first to volunteer or help someone out," wrote the friend, Blaine Marlin.

Baker once helped rescue a woman trapped underwater in a vehicle and, more recently, joined in the capture a gunman at a shooting outside a theater, according to Bledsoe.

Bledsoe had a message for Wiggins: "If he is listening or anyone listening that knows him, that can talk some sense into him that he will turn himself in, that's what he needs to do."

In a statement to CNN affiliate WZTV in Nashville, Baker's mother, Veronica Bryan, described her son as a kind and compassionate young man.

"He loved his family, and adored his wife and daughter," the statement said. "He loved the outdoors, fishing and hunting. He served his country in the Marines and came home to serve his community. He was a faithful servant to all."

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 48524

Reported Deaths: 2698
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion11682684
Lake5180242
Elkhart330146
Allen2798132
St. Joseph196466
Cass16389
Hamilton1563101
Hendricks1410100
Johnson1288118
Porter73237
Tippecanoe7268
Madison65964
Clark65544
Bartholomew58644
LaPorte58026
Howard57757
Kosciusko5494
Vanderburgh5486
Marshall4904
Noble48228
Jackson4723
LaGrange4709
Hancock45035
Boone44543
Delaware44550
Shelby42625
Floyd38144
Morgan32931
Monroe30028
Grant29526
Montgomery29420
Clinton2892
Henry27415
Dubois2736
White26510
Decatur25032
Lawrence24625
Dearborn23823
Vigo2358
Harrison21822
Warrick21829
Unassigned193193
Greene18932
Miami1832
Jennings17611
Putnam1698
DeKalb1624
Scott1627
Daviess14317
Wayne1406
Orange13623
Perry1299
Steuben1292
Franklin1248
Jasper1212
Ripley1177
Wabash1122
Carroll1102
Fayette997
Newton9810
Starke933
Whitley925
Gibson812
Huntington812
Randolph794
Wells731
Fulton721
Jefferson722
Jay680
Washington671
Pulaski661
Knox640
Clay604
Rush583
Adams501
Owen491
Benton480
Sullivan451
Posey420
Brown391
Spencer381
Blackford372
Crawford320
Fountain322
Tipton321
Switzerland270
Parke230
Martin220
Ohio170
Vermillion140
Warren141
Union130
Pike110

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 57956

Reported Deaths: 2927
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin10410429
Cuyahoga7883373
Hamilton6019198
Lucas2752302
Marion273438
Pickaway219741
Summit2143206
Montgomery203427
Mahoning1832232
Butler159944
Columbiana130760
Stark1123112
Lorain103567
Trumbull96770
Warren86021
Clark7669
Delaware58215
Fairfield57216
Tuscarawas56710
Belmont54922
Medina52332
Lake50018
Licking49312
Miami46631
Portage44258
Ashtabula43544
Wood42851
Clermont4146
Geauga40742
Wayne36351
Richland3455
Allen32141
Mercer2829
Greene2589
Darke25125
Erie24422
Holmes2363
Huron2202
Madison1978
Ottawa14923
Sandusky13614
Crawford1355
Washington13520
Putnam12815
Ross1273
Hardin12312
Morrow1161
Coshocton1112
Auglaize1074
Monroe8917
Jefferson882
Union861
Muskingum831
Hancock791
Hocking788
Guernsey743
Preble731
Lawrence710
Williams712
Clinton680
Shelby684
Logan621
Fulton610
Ashland591
Athens591
Carroll593
Wyandot596
Brown571
Defiance513
Knox511
Fayette460
Highland451
Scioto410
Champaign401
Perry351
Van Wert350
Seneca342
Henry300
Paulding250
Adams241
Jackson230
Pike230
Vinton222
Gallia181
Harrison121
Meigs120
Morgan110
Noble110
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Broken Clouds
88° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 91°
Angola
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 91°
Huntington
Broken Clouds
94° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 98°
Decatur
Broken Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 93°
Van Wert
Broken Clouds
90° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 70°
Feels Like: 93°
Hot Wednesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events