NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 37-year-old man was shot and killed by multiple law enforcement officers on Interstate 65 in Nashville Thursday afternoon after at least 30 minutes of tense negotiations.
Metro Nashville Police released a photo on Friday of the round, metal object Landon Eastep pulled from his pocket moments before the deadly shooting.
The incident began around 2 p.m. in the northbound lanes when a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper saw Eastep sitting on the side of I-65 near Hogan Road and stopped to offer him a ride off the interstate. Metro police said after a brief interaction, Eastep produced a box-cutter and the trooper called for assistance.
An off-duty Mt. Juliet police officer stopped to help and began trying to de-escalate the situation through dialogue with Eastep, according to Metro police.
For 30 minutes, Metro police said officers tried to negotiate with Eastep as he held the box cutter in his left hand and kept his right hand in his pocket.
Nine officers, including six Metro officers, two THP troopers and the off-duty Mt. Juliet officer, opened fire when Eastep pulled a “shiny silver cylindrical object” from his pocket that Metro police later reported was not a firearm.
Also on Friday, Mayor John Cooper released a statement on the shooting. The Nashville mayor tweeted that he was “disturbed by the shooting death of Landon Eastep,” going on to say, “we will learn from this awful event and continue to do everything we can to prevent similar incidents in the future.”
Metro Police Chief John Drake has directed that Officer Brian Murphy be decommissioned. Officer Murphy has been identified as the person who fired the final two shots from a rifle after Eastep had already hit the ground. An investigation will be launched into Murphy’s actions at the scene. Officer Murphy is a 25-year veteran with MNPD.