Officer-Involved Shooting in Nashville Closes Portion of I-65


Nine law enforcement officers shot and killed a 37-year-old man Thursday afternoon on I-65 northbound, near Harding Place.

Members of the Nashville Metro Police Department (MNPD) did not release the man’s name Thursday, pending next of kin notification.

Officials with the Tennessee Department of Transportation tweeted Thursday afternoon that the officer-involved shooting forced that area of I-65 to close.

MNPD spokesman Don Aaron said at a press conference that a member of the Tennessee Highway Patrol saw the man standing on the interstate and tried to give him a ride for the man’s own safety. But as the two were near the trooper’s car the unknown man pushed away and produced a boxcutter. The state trooper then called MNPD for assistance.

“As Metro officers were coming to the scene, a member of the Mt. Juliet Police Department who was off duty and who was traveling northbound on I-65 saw what was taking place and stopped. The trooper and the Mt. Juliet officer engaged in dialogue with the man and tried to de-escalate the situation,” Aaron said.

“Actually, that took place for about 30 minutes. There was constant communication. Talking to the individual. Trying to get him to surrender and go with them to get off the interstate. The man was holding a boxcutter in his left hand, and his right hand was in his pocket. Metro officers arrived 10 minutes later as this dialogue continued, being led by the Mt. Juliet officer. At 2:30, some 30 minutes into it, as the officers were continuing to talk to him, suddenly he pulled his right hand out of his pocket, holding a shiny silver cylindrical object. The officers, not knowing what that was, and given his very abrupt movement, kind of aiming something toward the officers, the officers fired.”

Aaron said six MNPD officers, two Tennessee Highway Patrol officers, and the Mt. Juliet officer fired. Authorities transported the unknown man to a hospital where medical officials pronounced him dead.

Aaron said that members of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) will review the officer-involved shooting.

Members of the MNPD and the TBI told The Tennessee Star Thursday evening they had no additional comment.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star and The Georgia Star News. Follow Chris on Facebook, Twitter, Parler, and GETTR. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “I-65 Highway Closure” by myTDOT.





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11 Thoughts to “Officer-Involved Shooting in Nashville Closes Portion of I-65”

  1. Tim Price

    As a result of the comments and actions of many, including the Nashville mayor, the Nashville district attorney and the Nashville police chief, I suggest that policeman in Nashville walk away from their jobs.

    Nashville Police are again being treated as the villain when they did nothing more that to protect the public.

    Another reason that Nashville is the second worst sh**hole of Tennessee with Memphis being the first.

  2. Truth

    You’d think a so-called Conservative newspaper would allow a respectful disagreement with how this situation was handled. Go ahead, censor this comment too.

  3. Fireguy

    Another case of just do what you are told, show your empty hands, and don’t make sudden moves and you will be alive today and probably be home last night. Very similar to other PD shootings where all you had to do is follow orders and you would be alive today. I guess I was raised differently.

  4. US Traveler

    Some Dude may not have actually shot a gun much. Pistols are not nearly as accurate as rifles and legs are extremely hard to hit. Also understand that a leg wound does not incapacitate a potential shooter. Keep in mind that this is already a tense situation and the guy was clearly not in his right mind if he stops on a freeway which already is a danger. Note that the police spend a fair amount of time trying to talk him down. Their first reaction was NOT to shoot. But when someone pulls a shiny object suddenly out of his pocket when surrounded by police, they have to make a split second decision.

  5. NJPBA600

    Amazing how some commenters with no law enforcement background play couch quarterbacks without even being at the scene. Ignorant people make ignorant comments.

    1. Glenn

      NJPBA, I don’t need a law enforcement background to know it doesn’t take over 30 shots to take someone down.

      So what were you saying something about ignorant comments?

  6. Some Dude

    That was an excessive OVER-REACTION to a boxcutter, being raised. Or was the dead guy merely pointing towards where he wanted to walk?

    I would not shoot a man, from that far away, over ANY hand-held bladed-weapon. Wow. Shoot him in the leg. While the police are all standing around, talking to this guy, amongst themselves, etc. … the police should designate “the best shot”, among them, to disable the opponent with ONE shot, IFF necessary. There’s always one guy, who is the ping master. Hell, get a rifle, at that range… easily shoot the actual boxcutter… it’ll go flying out of his hand… or at least the cheap disposable-blade will. Then… he’s holding a stick.

    The police are getting low quality training. Pay more… and FFS… TRAIN BETTER! TRAIN MORE! THINK MORE! And then… rinse, and repeat.

    1. PC

      Police are not trained to “shoot to wound”. They are trained to eliminate the threat for their own safety.
      Do you not see how a person walking in the interstate highway illegally with a weapon is responsible for his own death?
      The police train constantly. That they don’t do it your way doesn’t mean the training is “low quality”.

    2. Tim Price

      Were you there? Or are you “arm chair quarterbacking” from the comfort of your home?

      There have been a lot of police officers killed in the last month and all of
      them are probably on edge.

      This man obliviously wanted suicide by cop to happen.

      It would behoove everyone to stop “arm chair quarterbacking” until
      an investigation is completed.

      Better yet, instead of slamming law enforcement, why not get you a job and see
      what their jobs are like?

      Your opinions would likely change!

    3. John Bumpus

      Hey Dude, have YOU ever seen the wound that a box-cutter can cause? I have. Such a wound is unbelievably hideous! When I first applied for my handgun carry permit many years ago, I received my training from a retired Metro Nashville police officer. Among the many things that he showed my training class was the wound that various weapons can cause. An assailant with a blade can be upon a victim in mere seconds. An officer has but a split-second to make a life or death decision. Shooting to wound is what actors do on television, but rarely is this possible in real life. In instances like this one, the community could very easily have a dead officer, with a surviving family to be cared for over the next decade or so. Everyone then would be very sorry, but the officer would be just as dead. Policemen want to go home at the end of their duty shifts, too.

      1. Tim Price

        Amen brother! Police are trained to eliminate the threat just like anyone else. When you are in a shooting situation, your adrenaline kicks in and you become tunnel visioned. The officers likely had no idea that anyone else was shooting. But officers are expected to be super human!

        So sad that people expect that of them.

        It is appropriate to review training, policy and procedures but the response of the mayor and police chief is purely politically and will serve to lessen the level of police protection the people of Nashville have.

        No way in the world would I ever think about being a police officer.