Dickson County Deputy Dies From Head Wound - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Dickson County Deputy Dies From Head Wound

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By Adam Ghassemi

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Dickson County Sheriff's Deputy Keith Bellar died Tuesday morning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after being shot in the head.

Dickson County Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe announced that he passed away at 7:47 a.m. The visibly upset sheriff took no questions from reporters after making the announcement around 10:30 a.m.

There was no mistaking the grief in Sheriff Jeff Bledsoe's voice, or his pauses.

"Deputy Bellar was doing what he did best, serving and protecting the citizens of Dickson County," Bledsoe said while holding back tears outside Vanderbilt Medical Center Tuesday.

Bellar leaves behind his wife, Brandi, and their 6 month old son.

What Bellar thought was an accident was really a domestic dispute. Investigators said Jayson Eggenberg ran his estranged wife, Kimberly, off the road on her way home from work on Monday morning. When Deputy Bellar found them, they said Eggenberg opened fire hitting Bellar in the head before taking his own life.

"You just never know, you know, when you stop on an accident like that what could happen," Owen said.

A group of Dickson Sheriff's deputies had spent the night at Vanderbilt University Medical Center by the side of their fallen colleague.

Retired police officer Michael Kruggel is aiding the Sheriff's Office during this tragedy. He said Bellar's death is the latest in an alarming trend where the number of officers killed in the line of duty is up 37 percent so far this year.

"We're almost at 80 police officers that have been killed in the line of duty whether it be from natural causes, injuries or from a shooting," Kruggel said.

Bellar's colleagues are calling him a hero for saving the life of Kimberly Eggenberg.

Stephanie Reed said she used to work with Kimberly, and can't imagine how she must be feeling.

"That's going to scar her also seeing all of that," Reed said.

An account has been established under the Police Benevolent Foundation called the "Keith Bellar Memorial Fund" at Regions Bank. Donations can be made at any Regions Bank.

Donations can also be made through the Police Benevolent Foundation's website at www.pbfi.org. Donations made to this memorial fund are 100 percent tax-deductible, and all proceeds will go to Deputy Bellar's family. 

The Police Benevolent Foundation is also taking donations via text for the "Keith Bellar Memorial Fund." You can help by texting the phrase COPS BELLAR to 85944.  A $10 donation will be made through your cell phone bill. 

Police said the number of officers killed in the line of duty is up 32 percent for 2011. Deputy Bellar is the 4th officer killed in Tennessee so far this year.

He is only the 2nd in Dickson County Sheriff's Office history.

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