Authorities say Ronnie Lucas Wilson shot officer Jay Williams in front of a Target store around 8:30 p.m.as the policeman attempted to stop Wilson for speeding.
Aryan Nations, described by the Anti-Defamation League as the "largest white supremacist prison gang in Tennessee", had more than 230 members as of a May 2016 report by Knoxville-based NBC-affiliate WBIR-TV. Officials said Wilson got out of the auto and began shooting at the officer, striking him at least once.
Williams suffered a wound to his shoulder.
Wilson is wanted by Knoxville Police Department and TBI to face a charge of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer.
He said he's thinking about the officer and his family.
Rausch said Thursday night that he didn't know if Wilson was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the shooting.
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Wilson fired at the officer while in his auto, and then got out and continued firing, Rausch said.
According to 911 dispatchers, Wilson's black mid 70s model Chevrolet Nova with a red stripe on the hood was found abandoned Friday morning in Knoxville.
Law enforcement agencies across the state are "very familiar" with Wilson, Rausch said, adding that Wilson is listed in a database "as a member of the Aryan Nations gang". His Facebook page reportedly features shirtless photos of the suspect showing off his Swastika tattoos. "If he is going to take a shot at an officer, he's not going to hesitate to shoot at anyone else".
According to Knoxville Police, Wilson is a known member of the Aryan Nation gang.
"It borrows its name from the older neo-Nazi group of the same name but is a completely separate group", according to the ADL.
Investigators recovered the suspect's vehicle early Friday.