NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The man who shot and killed a tractor-trailer driver in an alleged road rage incident on Friday night claims he fired his weapon in self defense, Metro police officials said in a statement Saturday. 

Police confirmed Friday that one person died in a shooting after an apparent road rage incident on I-65 South near Harding Place after the driver of a white sedan, 28-year-old Eric Nichols of Columbia, TN, and the driver of a tractor trailer, 53-year-old Christopher Jankowski of Christiana, TN, had an altercation on the grass shoulder of the interstate.

According to police, it was determined that no charges would be filed against Nichols in the shooting after a lengthy interview process. 

road rage shooting

Photo: MNPD

In that interview, Nichols told police that the altercation began when he attempted to merge onto the interstate at Harding Pike during heavy traffic. 

The altercation continued when Nichols pulled over on the shoulder of the road between Harding Pike and Old Hickory Boulevard, and Jankowski reportedly pulled over behind him.

Nichols said they both exited their vehicles and engaged in a verbal altercation. While arguing, his pistol fell from the waistband of his pants. 

The suspect told police both he and Jankowski reached for the gun and that he ultimately shot the semi driver one time. 

While no charges have been filed at this time, police said the incident remains "very much under investigation" by MNPD and the Davidson County District Attorney's Office, and they are looking for driver's that witnessed the altercation. 

Depending on the findings of their continued investigation, officials said the case may be presented to a Davidson County Grand Jury in the near future. 

Motorists traveling on I-65 South between 5:05 p.m. and 5:17 p.m. Friday that saw any part of the altercation between Nichols and Jankowski are urged to contact Midtown Hills Precinct Investigations at 615-880-1511.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

Multimedia Producer

Kyle is a Multimedia Producer at WSMV. He is a proud graduate of Virginia Tech, where he majored in multimedia journalism with a minor in psychology. Send him news tips or food recommendations to

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