Thu. Jul 18th, 2024

9 police officers fatally shoot pedestrian after standoff on interstate in Nashville, authorities say

Nine police officers fatally shot a pedestrian on a Tennessee interstate after a short standoff, authorities said Thursday.

Landon Eastep, 37, was killed after about 30 minutes of negotiations — during which traffic was halted along Interstate 65 near Nashville. Officers opened fire after he appeared “to adjust his stance and reach for what was later identified as a metal cylindrical object at his waist,” the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.

It was later determined not to be a firearm.

The standoff began around 2 p.m. Eastep had been sitting on a guardrail on the shoulder of the interstate and a state trooper was attempting to get him to move off the highway, according to Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron.

“The individual kind of pushed away from the trooper and produced a box cutter,” Aaron said.

Officers from the Metro Nashville Police Department, Tennessee Highway Patrol and an off-duty Mount Juliet officer tried to deescalate the situation, shutting down part of the interstate, when the man pulled out “a shiny, silver, cylindrical object” from his right pocket, Aaron said.

Nine officers fired on the man, who died on the scene, the TBI said.

Aaron said one officer on the scene had a Taser “on standby,” but it was not used.

No officers were injured, according to the TBI, which is the lead agency investigating the incident.

“Our team will work efficiently to gather relevant information at the scene, but the work may take some time,” the TBI said.

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By Chala Dandessa

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