A deputy shot six rounds into a door. Now the case is headed to the Supreme Court.

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Posted at 3:57 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 20:41:21-04

CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WTVF) — A high-profile shooting case in Middle Tennessee is headed to the Supreme Court of the United States.

The controversy stems from the dramatic video showing a sheriff's deputy shooting at a man standing behind a door.

It led to a federal lawsuit claiming excessive use of force. Challenges to the lawsuit have failed at every appellate level. The deputy involved was denied qualified immunity, and the final step now is the highest court, where a new precedent could be set on what an officer can and cannot do.

The video is dramatic when in August 2018, Cheatham County deputy Doug Fox fires eight rounds through the front door of Mark Campbell's rural home.

"You what, Mark? Shots fired ... You good? Six more shots."

"In this case, this wasn't about a split-second decision based on a threat. This was an overreaction and inappropriate use of deadly force," said attorney John Morris, who added a judge dismissed assault of an officer charges against his client.

"There was no crime there. There should never have been charges."

The body cam video is the key. It shows deputies Fox and Chris Austin investigating two 911 cellphone hang-ups from an unknown location in the area. It's after dark, and the deputies approach Campbell's home.

They knock, but never identify themselves, before calling out to Campbell.

"Come on out Mark. What's up, man? You gotta gun. What's going on Mark? I got one too."

At that moment, you see Sgt. Fox turns and pull his weapon.

Seconds later he fires.

"You what Mark? Shots fired ... You good? Six more shots."

The deputies say they saw Campbell open the door with a weapon.

Campbell concedes he claimed to have a gun because he was scared and didn't know who was outside.

The video only shows Campbell peeking from behind the door.

No gun was ever found, yet Campbell was arrested for assault.

The high court will consider arguments: The county attorney alleging no one was hurt and the deputy fired in self-defense.

Campbell's attorney said shots never should have been fired.

Fox is no longer with the sheriff's department.

Justices will consider the arguments and then decide whether to hear the case.

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