Five members of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department were placed on administrative assignment and a sixth has been decommissioned after the fatal Tuesday shooting of a man on the side of a highway, Police Chief John Drake announced Friday. Drake said nine law enforcement officials, including a sergeant, at 37-year-old Landon Eastep.
Officer Brian Murphy, a 25-year veteran of the department, lost his police authority pending a review of the shooting. According to Drake, he fired the last two shots at Eastep.
The five others placed on routine administrative assignment were identified by Drake as Officer Justin Pinkelton, a 25-year veteran; Officer Sean Williams, a 17-year veteran; Officer Edin Plancic, a 6-year veteran; Officer James Kidd, who joined the department last February; and Sergeant Steven Carrick, an 8-year veteran.
Two Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers and a Mt. Juliet officer also fired their weapons, Drake said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the shooting, Drake said. “This department regularly reviews critical incidents, and the work on this one has begun. I am saddened by any loss of life, and I send my condolences to the Eastep family.”
Nashville police officers responded Thursday to a “Code 5000” — which means personnel in serious danger — after Eastep allegedly pulled a boxcutter on a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper on the side of an interstate, Drake said. Before the Nashville officers arrived, an off-duty officer from Mt. Juliet stopped to help the trooper and attempted to talk to Eastep.
After the Nashville officers arrived, nine law enforcement personnel in total were engaging with Eastep when he drew an object from his pocket and “took a stance as if it was a firearm,” Drake said. Officers fired at Eastep, killing him. The object was later determined to be a metal cylindrical object.
The encounter on I-65 North was caught on body cameras, CBS Nashville affiliate WTVF-TV reports.
None of the officers were injured in the incident.