Manhunt intensifies for "armed and dangerous" suspect in Tennessee deputy's death

Tennessee manhunt intensifies

Last Updated Jun 1, 2018 2:52 AM EDT

DICKSON, Tenn. -- A manhunt west of Nashville, Tennessee, intensified Thursday for a gunman suspected of killing a sheriff's deputy. Sgt. Daniel Baker, a 10-year veteran and former Marine reserve, was killed Wednesday during a traffic stop.

Investigators say their focus is on 32-year-old Steven Wiggins, who they say has a decade of violent crime behind him. Baker was gunned down responding to a call about a suspicious car, and surveillance video identified Wiggins as the gunman, who officials described as "armed and dangerous."

Steven Wiggins, suspect in the murder of a Tennessee deputy TBI

When Baker's police radio went silent, deputies grew worried. They used GPS to track down his cruiser and found his body inside it, two miles from the original traffic stop.     

Detectives say 38-year-old Erika Castro-Miles was in the car with Wiggins, and she saw him shoot and kill Baker. They say Castro-Miles told them Wiggins had been smoking meth all night after beating her up and stealing her car. She was found hiding under a house and charged with first-degree murder.

"This hits a little closer to home. It's a little bit more personal," said Capt. Mark Elwood.

He's been helping to direct the aerial search for Wiggins.

In the wee hours Friday, a reporter for CBS Nashville affiliate WTVF-TV tweeted this update:

"It's heavily treed. A lot of underbrush. The guys are having a tough time walking and moving through the area out there," Elwood said. "He could be anywhere."

More than two dozen police agencies have joined the search for Wiggins. The search teams are on high alert, because they believe someone who killed one officer is willing to kill more.

  • Mark Strassmann
    Mark Strassmann

    Mark Strassmann has been a CBS News correspondent since January 2001 and is based in the Atlanta bureau.