Savanna Puckett, a 22-year-old Tennessee sheriff’s deputy, was found shot dead in her burning home by a colleague on Sunday night.

Early on Monday morning, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation arrested a man in connection with Puckett’s death following an hours-long standoff. The suspect’s name and relationship to the slain patrol deputy has not been revealed. 

Meanwhile, area residents lined the streets to pay their respects as the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office escorted Puckett’s body from the medical examiner’s building in Nashville to her hometown of Springfield just hours after the standoff. 

State officials are continuing to investigate the deputy’s suspicious death. 

Deputy Savanna Puckett Shot Dead in Burning Home

According to local reports, a colleague at the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office went to Puckett’s home in Springfield at around 5 p.m. Sunday evening when the 22-year-old didn’t show up to work. 

The deputy arrived to find Puckett’s house engulfed in flames, the Sheriff’s Office said in a release. He reportedly tried to enter the home but could not do so safely. 

When firefighters showed up to the scene, they found Puckett dead from a gunshot wound inside the home. 

The cause and nature of the fire, as well as the circumstances of the young deputy’s violent death, were still unclear, officials said that night. 

Deputy Savanna Puckett was found shot dead in her burning home in Springfield, Tenn. Sunday night.
Deputy Savanna Puckett was found shot dead in her burning home in Springfield, Tenn. Sunday night. What happened? Photo credit: RCSO

Standoff Leads to Arrest

Just hours after the deputy’s body was discovered, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation — the state law enforcement agency leading the probe — showed up to execute a search warrant at a residence in the town of Smyrna, around 50 miles south of Puckett’s Springfield home. 

One neighbor told The Tennessean that she was in bed when she heard a loud explosion at about 6:45 Monday morning. 

“It just about knocked me out of bed,” the woman said. “I thought it was a car accident but then about 15 to 20 minutes later I heard another one go off and then I heard a police officer on a speaker saying, ‘Get out now, get out now.’ He was real loud.”

Authorities arrested a man at this Smyrna, Tenn. home in connection with the death of Deputy Savanna Puckett, who was found shot dead in her burning home hours earlier.
Authorities arrested a man at this Smyrna, Tenn. home in connection with the death of Deputy Savanna Puckett, who was found shot dead in her burning home hours earlier. Photo credit: Google Maps

The standoff finally ended at around 11:30 a.m., when agents arrested the man inside. In a statement on Twitter, the agency wrote that the suspect “was wanted by law enforcement in connection to the death of a Robertson County deputy this weekend.”

Officials have not released the suspect’s name, his apparent connection to Deputy Puckett, or his incarceration status.

“The investigation remains active and ongoing, and we’ll provide more details as soon as we’re able to do so,” TBI added. Agents were spotted carrying away evidence from the home for hours after the arrest. 

Sheriff’s Office Mourns Slain Deputy 

Savanna Puckett had worked with the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office for four years before her death over the weekend, officials said. She joined the agency in 2017 as a corrections officer and was promoted to the patrol division in 2020 after graduating from Walter State Law Enforcement Academy. 

“We are all heartbroken and working to lay Deputy Puckett to rest,” said Jessica Drake, a spokesperson for the department. 

“Savanna was the one who always showed up early to her shift with a smile on her face. She was a mother hen to us all, and frequently cooked meals and baked goodies for her shift,” Drake continued.

Savanna Puckett, 22, worked with the Robertson County Sheriff's Office for four years before she was shot dead over the weekend.
Savanna Puckett, 22, worked with the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office for four years before she was shot dead over the weekend. Photo credit: Google Maps

Just a few hours after TBI arrested its unnamed suspect, Puckett’s law enforcement colleagues were escorting her body back home to Springfield from the Office of the Medical Examiner in Nashville. Residents of the small town lined the streets as her procession passed by, paying their final respects to the slain deputy. 

“[Puckett] was tough,” spokesperson Drake recalled. “She was courageous, kind, compassionate and had an infectious personality that will always be remembered.”