Man charged after allegedly firing AK-47 at police officers during traffic stop

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A Tennessee man is facing charges after he allegedly fired an AK-47 near where officers were conducting a traffic stop. 

“Was that gunshots,” one police officer is heard saying in a video of the incident on July 3 at around 9:30 p.m.

The Dyersburg Police Department stated that three officers were conducting a traffic stop when they heard gunshots coming from a nearby area, prompting them to investigate immediately. 

“The gunfire was close with officers hearing tree limbs breaking from the rounds being fired in the wooded lot between the officers and Ewell Street,” the department said in a statement. 

The officers spoke with witnesses who also heard the shots, with the investigation leading them to the home of 25-year-old Jeffrey Atwell.

Atwell told police the gunshots were actually fireworks. But during the questioning, the officers were able to identify 24-year-old convicted felon Marcus Akins in the home, who is wanted by police for failing to appear in court. They then located an AK-47. 

“Law enforcement located an AK-47 that was still hot to the touch lying next to Akins’ chair. Additionally, law enforcement located two magazines loaded with 7.62 ammunition inside the residence, and spent shell casings outside of the residence,” the department’s statement said. 

Akins was subsequently charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and reckless endangerment due to “close proximity to the officers on the traffic stop, heavily traveled roadway, school, and homes.”

Atwell was cited to court and released with a citation for manufacture, sale, and discharge of fireworks.

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