Nashville, TN – Nashville police have released bodycam video of the fatal officer-involved shooting from April 24 of a man who charged at an officer with two butcher knives (video below).
The incident occurred just after midnight on April 24 in the 3200-block of Clarksville Pike in the Bordeaux neighborhood, WZTV reported.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) Spokesman Don Aaron told reporters at a press conference after the shooting that MNPD Officer Christopher Royer was on routine patrol in the North Precinct when a license plate check he ran on a white Mercedes came back registered to a green 1998 Chevrolet.
Bodycam video showed Officer Royer stopped the Mercedes and the passenger of the vehicle immediately jumped out with a butcher knife in each hand.
“Drop the knife!” the officer yelled in the video.
Then he began backing away from his patrol vehicle in order to create space between himself and the knife-wielding man as he radioed for backup.
The suspect ran to Officer Royer’s police car and jumped inside, the bodycam showed.
“Get out of the car! Get out of the car! Drop the knife,” the officer yelled as he rushed toward the police vehicle.
The suspect ran away from the car and the officer shut the door and then started to back away again as the suspect came running back toward him and the vehicle.
“Dude, what are you doing? I don’t want to shoot you,” the officer yelled.
The driver of the vehicle that Officer Royer stopped was heard in the bodycam screaming at the passenger.
“What are you doing?” the driver yelled. “Stop!”
“I don’t want to shoot you,” Officer Royer said again in the bodycam video.
Aaron said that Officer Royer backed up 25 yards, away from his police car, and radioed again for backup as the suspect advanced.
“Give me some cars, he’s got a knife,” the officer told the dispatcher twice.
Then the suspect rushed at Officer Royer with knives held up in the air, the video showed.
Bodycam video showed that the officer waited until the suspect was within about 12 feet of him before he opened fire and shot at the armed man three times.
“Dude what are you doing? C’mon,” the officer said as he kicked the knives away from the fallen suspect. “I didn’t want to do that.”
The wounded suspect was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died of his wounds, NBC News reported.
MNPD Chief John Drake told reporters he felt mixed emotions when learned about the shooting early on Saturday morning, WTVF reported.
“He did everything he could, I felt,” Chief Drake said. “He retreated, he asked the individual to drop the weapon several times, continued charging at him, and he was left with no choice.”
“What you don’t see on there is when he was down, there were five officers that rendered aid to this individual,” the police chief explained.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and the district attorney have both launched investigations into the officer-involved shooting, WZTV reported.
The Metro Nashville Community Oversight Board said they will also conduct an administrative investigation to determine whether police department policy and procedures were followed.
“His rather bizarre behavior, we will try to find out what all this stemmed from,” Chief Drake said. “This appears to possibly be justified, we’ll find out as the investigation moves forward.”
Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content: