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.
I-65 is CLOSED in Nashville due to a reported officer-involved shooting on the interstate. Please find an alternate route while the police investigate. SB lanes are closed at Harding Pl. and NB lanes are closed at Old Hickory Blvd. #slowdown #moveover pic.twitter.com/NVPQlGuhnH
— myTDOT (@myTDOT) January 27, 2022
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.
– – –
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.