NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - An off-duty Metro Nashville Police officer was shot and injured near Ashland City, while the suspect has died after a pursuit ended on Interstate 440.
Police said Officer Darrell Osment, 57, was shot in the shoulder from behind while walking his dog near the intersection of Pine Valley and Bull Run roads at around 9:05 p.m. Thursday.
Osment was off-duty and in plain clothes when he encountered a man he did not know on the street. Osment told investigators they exchanged hellos and just as they passed each other, Osment said the man, who was later identified as 48-year-old William Johnson Jr., shot him in the back of his shoulder.
Osment told police he fell to the ground. Police said Johnson fired a second shot, which hit the ground near Osment, who managed to get up and run. Johnson got into a Ford Flex parked at a nearby church and drove away.
Osment was discharged from Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Friday and will continue his recovery with family.
Around 9:17 p.m., the Ford Flex was spotted on Hydes Ferry Road. A Metro Police helicopter flew into the area and began monitoring the vehicle from the air.
The car traveled onto Clarksville Pike and turned onto Ed Temple Boulevard near the North Precinct. Officers reported shots were fired from the Ford near the intersection.
An officer attempted to deploy spike strips to stop the car near the intersection of Ed Temple and Dr. D.B. Todd boulevards. That officer reported to TBI Johnson again fired shots from the vehicle.
The Flex then got onto I-40 and I-440. A spike strip was used on I-440, causing the vehicle to stop in the east bound lanes near the Nolensville Pike exit.
Officers reported the driver's door opened and they heard gunfire. TBI said three Metro officers fired on the suspect, fatally wounding Johnson. TBI said there were about 50 shots fired on I-440.
“I know a lot of people were probably inconvenienced with their morning commute because of the activity on interstate 440. We did have a team of forensic scientists that had to process that crime scene," TBI Communications Director Josh DeVine said. "It was a complex one...It was a very tight area. And there was a considerable about of ballistic evidence. More than 50 rounds that we had to gather...and process.”
A frightening ordeal for Mario Lorenzana-DeWitt, who witnessed the shooting involving police and Johnson.
“You always hear about shootings and stuff on the news and stuff and you would imagine yourself in those situations...what would you do...And when I hear that I can understand why some people get into shock and maybe freeze up and don’t know what to do,” Lorenzana-DeWitt said.
Lorenzana-DeWitt said he was driving on the highway when several police cars ran by. Lorenzana-DeWitt said he heard an officer on a megaphone and starting recording, not long after that he heard a gunshot...followed by screams.
“I could clearly hear an officer on like a megaphone...asking someone to get out of the car with their hands up,” Lorenzana-DeWitt said.
Lorenzana-DeWitt said he’s still in shock at what he saw, but is glad the officer is recovering and wishes him a swift recovery.
“I got up today and saw the full details about everything that was going on tonight,” Lorenzana-DeWitt said. "I was like I can’t believe I was that close to something that serious.”
A 9-mm semiautomatic pistol was found next to the vehicle.
A background check showed Johnson had pleaded guilty in 2004 to misdemeanor reckless driving. A misdemeanor domestic assault charge with nolle prosequi at that time. Other offenses listed were misdemeanor motor vehicle charges.
TBI said no other other law enforcement officers were injured in the shooting.
The officers involved in the shooting are Terrance Stuckey, a five-year veteran assigned to North Precinct, Jacob Krispin, a three-year veteran assigned to North Precinct, and David Lang, a two-year veteran assigned to the East Precinct. They have been placed on routine administrative assignment while the TBI leads the investigation.
TBI said Thursday's night shooting was the 14th officer-involved shooting this year investigated by TBI agents.
Parts of Interstate 440 were reopened by noon after being closed in both directions much of the morning because of the investigation.
The gunman who shot Officer Osment led officers on a pursuit through parts of North Nashville, shooting at an officer who tried to spike his tires. The pursuit ended on I-440 east near Nolensville Pk. The gunman & officers exchanged shots. He is deceased at the scene. pic.twitter.com/5HLZSvoTGZ— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) May 22, 2020
Officer Osment reports he was shot without provocation or warning after passing the gunman on the street. This is the suspect's weapon on I-440 at his car. Three MNPD officers were involved in the reported exchange of gunfire. pic.twitter.com/Fr4jVnSM5P— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) May 22, 2020