Manhunt launched for Nashville police chief’s son suspected in shooting of 2 Tennessee officers

22 October 2023

LA VERGNE, Tenn. (AP) — Police in Tennessee launched a search Saturday for a suspect alleged to have shot and wounded two police officers in a community near Nashville.

The two officers were transported to a hospital and listed in stable condition following the shooting in La Vergne shortly before 2:30 p.m., La Vergne Police Chief Christopher Moews said during a press briefing.

Police identified the suspect as John C. Drake, Jr., 38, who is the son of Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake.

The police chief issued a statement Saturday confirming his son was the suspect in the shooting. Drake said they were estranged and over many years he has had only minimal contact with his son. The younger Drake is a convicted felon who “resorted to years of criminal activity,” he said.

“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,” Drake said in the statement.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a social media post that a statewide alert had been issued for Drake, who was wanted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

The shooting occurred at a Dollar General store while officers were investigating a stolen vehicle. The officers struggled with the suspect, who pulled a handgun and shot them, Moews said.

One of the officers was shot twice, in the groin and right forearm, and was transported by air to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. The other officer, who was hit in the rear left shoulder, also was taken to Vanderbilt Medical, Moews said.

After the shooting, the La Vergne police issued a shelter-in-place order for residents in the city about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of Nashville.

The shelter order was later lifted while the search for Drake continued, the department said in a social media post.

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