Closer look: Knoxville officer shooting suspect’s ties to Aryan Nation

Ronnie Lucas Wilson (source: Knoxville Police Dept.)

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The man accused of shooting a Knoxville police officer Thursday night was captured in Blount County early Saturday morning.

Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch says Wilson’s ties to the Aryan Nation gang are shown in his appearance.

“He is an Aryan Nation member. He has the tattoos, the identification, he is known in the database as being a member Aryan Nation.” said Rausch.

Looking closer, an FBI Special Agent, Jason Pack says groups like this one are on law enforcement radars when activities turn illegal.

“When we become involved, is when members of these groups commit a crime. They go where the money is. Whether that’s narcotic sales, any type of crime to make money.” said Pack.

The Southern Poverty Law Center refers to the group nationally as the Aryan Brotherhood. Also adding that its core ideologies center around white nationalism and white supremacy.

“As repugnant as we may find it, having those views is not illegal. it’s when it turns to an action that’s criminal that’s the problem,” said Pack.

Pack and Rausch agree on one thing, groups like this exist in East Tennessee.

“In terms of prevalence, there are a number of individuals that identify with that group that live in our community,” said Rausch.

Wilson was arrested early Saturday morning and was charged with attempted first-degree murder of a cop.

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