Authorities in Tennessee are intensifying their search for the estranged son of the Nashville police chief, who is suspected of shooting two police officers outside a Dollar General store in La Vergne, a city located approximately 20 miles southeast of Nashville.
The incident unfolded on Saturday afternoon when officers in La Vergne were investigating a stolen vehicle outside the store. They encountered the suspect, who resisted arrest and ultimately drew a handgun, shooting the officers. LaVergne Police Chief Christopher Moews provided these details.
The suspect has been identified as John C. Drake, Jr., aged 38, who is the son of Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake.
The injured officers, identified as Ashely Boleyjack and Gregory Kern, were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. One officer sustained two gunshot wounds, one in the groin and another in the right forearm, while the second officer was shot in the rear left shoulder. One of the officers was discharged from the hospital on Saturday night, while the other remained overnight for observation, reported Anne Smith, a spokesperson for the city of La Vergne. The latter officer is currently in stable condition.
On Saturday, Chief John Drake released a statement confirming that his estranged son was the suspect in the shooting. He noted that he has had minimal contact with his son over the years and that the younger Drake is a convicted felon who has been involved in criminal activities for an extended period.
Drake stated, “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.”
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide alert for Drake, who is wanted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder. Around a dozen law enforcement agencies are actively participating in the search for him.
Following the shooting, La Vergne police initially issued a shelter-in-place order for city residents. Subsequently, the shelter order was lifted as the search for Drake continued, as reported in a social media post by the department.
You can also read: Family Seeks Answers as Groundskeeper Mistakes Loved One’s Body for a Prop
Mayor Freddie O’Connell expressed his support for Police Chief John Drake and the wounded La Vergne police officers. He recognized that, despite their best efforts, family members sometimes make choices beyond their control. O’Connell stated, “I support Chief Drake and stand by him at this difficult time.”