Police shoot and kill man, shutting down I-65 south
Editor’s note: The off-duty officer’s family witnessed the shooting, not the family of the slain man.
A portion of Interstate 65 is closed in Nashville after law enforcement fatally shot a 37-year-old man who was on the freeway. Several local and state agencies were involved in the shooting near Harding Place on Thursday afternoon.
According to the Metro Nashville Police Department, MNPD officers, Tennessee Highway Patrol Soldiers and an off-duty Mt Juliet officer shot the man.
His identity has not yet been revealed.
The incident began just before 2 p.m., THP Sgt. John Grinder said, when a soldier came into contact with the man on the highway who had what appeared to be a box cutter.
An MNPD spokesperson at the scene said the soldier saw a man sitting on a guardrail and went to see him. At one point, he said, the man pulled out a box cutter.
At the same time, police said, an off-duty Mt. Juliet police officer pulled over and got out to “help the trooper and defuse the situation.”
Officers then waited for reinforcements to arrive.
Several ambulances and law enforcement officers from the agencies then responded to the scene, before the man was shot dead.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.
As of 5 p.m., the TBI had released no information about what happened after the backup officers arrived, including what exactly led to the shooting.
Video posted to social media that appears to show the shooting shows more than a dozen armed and uniformed officers on the highway with their weapons drawn. At one point in the video, the man raises his arm towards some of the officers and the officers open fire on the man. More than a dozen gunshots can be heard.
Mt. Juliet Capt. Tyler Chandler told reporters at the scene that the off-duty officer’s family was in a car on the freeway and witnessed the shooting.
“The officer is very upset the family saw the interaction,” Tyler said. “Many people on this highway have seen this happen. The man’s family, our prayers and thoughts are with them.”
The incident was first reported at 1:57 p.m. by the Tennessee Department of Transportation near Mile 76.2.
After the shooting, I-65 between Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood (exit 74) and Harding Place (exit 78) was closed and traffic was diverted.
Just before 4 p.m., the MNPD announced that two southbound lanes of I-65 had opened, but the northbound lanes remain closed from the Old Hickory Boulevard exit.
The scene is active and people are asked to avoid the area.
Traffic along I-65 had been blocked as far north as Wedgewood Avenue and as far south as just north of Cool Springs.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Katelynn White contributed to this story.