NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – One person is dead following an officer-involved shooting on Interstate 65.
TDOT says the shooting happened on I-65 northbound near mile marker 77 just north of Old Hickory Boulevard near the site where the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue was displayed.
Just after 2 p.m., a THP trooper stopped when he saw a man sitting on the guardrail. “The trooper engaged in a conversation with the individual – and as they were very close to the state trooper’s car, the individual kind of pushed away from the trooper and produced a box cutter,” said MNPD’s Don Aaron.
The trooper called Metro police for assistance. An off-duty Mt. Juliet Police officer, who was traveling along the interstate, saw the situation and stopped to assist as well. “The trooper and the Mt. Juliet officer engaged in dialogue with the man, trying to deescalate the situation,” said Aaron.
After a few minutes, Aaron said Metro officers arrived to assist in the situation. During that time, “the man was holding a box cutter in his left hand, his right hand was in his pocket.”
After about 30 minutes, the 37-year-old, later identified as Landon Eastep, “pulled his right hand out of his pocket, holding a shiny silver cylindrical object,” said Aaron.
That’s when officers opened fire. A total of nine law enforcement personnel fired, according to Aaron. Six Metro officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation.
Eastep was taken to a Nashville hospital where he was pronounced dead.
News 2 obtained video showing the tense encounter near the Hogan Road exit south of downtown Nashville. You can click to see a portion of the footage here (viewer discretion is advised).
UPDATE: 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 Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the situation.
The northbound side lanes, which were closed in that area near Harding Place, have now been reopened. Earlier it was announced two southbound side lanes had reopened.