Nashville police chief’s son suspected in shooting of 2 cops – manhunt underway

“Blue Alert” triggered in Nashville as a manhunt began for the police chief’s son, suspected for the shooting and attempted murder of two officers.

Saturday, Metropolitan Nashville Police Chief John Drake reported being “shocked and deeply saddened” upon hearing that his estranged son was believed responsible for the shooting of two officers from the La Vergne, Tennessee Police Department.

Speaking at a press conference, La Vergne Police Chief Chris Moews explained that officers were investigating a stolen vehicle outside a Dollar General just after 2 p.m. when they had contact with a man believed to be 38-year-old John C. Drake Jr., the son of the Nashville police chief.

Officers “had contact with a subject. They struggled with that subject and during that struggle the suspect produced a handgun and fired shots,” explained Moews. He went on to detail that one of the officers was struck in the shoulder while the other had been shot in the groin and the forearm; both were said to have been in stable condition after being transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Those officers had just under three years and about one-and-a-half years on the job respectively.

In his own statement on the incident, MNPD Chief Drake expressed, “I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn that my estranged son, with whom I have had very minimal contact over many years, is the suspect in this afternoon’s shooting of the two La Vergne police officers. My thoughts and prayers are with the two officers, who I understand are now in stable condition at Vanderbilt.”

“Despite my efforts and guidance in the early and teenage years, my son, John Drake Jr., now 38-years-old, resorted to years of criminal activity and is a convicted felon,” the father continued. “He has not been a part of my life for quite some time. He now needs to be found and held accountable for his actions today. I hope that anyone who sees him or has information about him will contact law enforcement immediately.”

Wanted for two counts of attempted first-degree murder, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation warned that Drake Jr. “should be considered armed and extremely dangerous,” and further reminded that a Blue Alert had been issued notifying the public that the suspect was responsible for injuring or killing an officer.

A shelter in place order had been issued after the incident and lifted hours later when it was determined by the La Vergne Police Department, “There is no immediate threat to the public. We are continuing our search efforts but ask everyone to remain vigilant. If you see something, say something.”

In his own statement on the incident, Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell (D), who won his position during a runoff election on Sept. 14, said, “My heart goest out to Chief Drake, his family, and the two wounded LaVergne policie officers. I know that despite our best efforts — including in their early years — we can’t be responsible for the choices of family members. I support Chief Drake and stand by him at this difficult time. He is the right Chief of Police for Nashville.”


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Kevin Haggerty


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