One of the nine officers who killed a pedestrian after a half-hour standoff was caught on camera by their body cameras.
Nine police officers shot and killed a man who was walking alone on an interstate in Nashville on Thursday, authorities say. After a half-hour standoff, someone opened fire.
WTVF-TV, a CBS affiliate in Nashville, says that body cameras caught the fatal accident on I-65 North.
The 37-year-old man was named in a police statement late Thursday. No place of birth was given.
Police spokesman Don Aaron said he was angry and had a box cutter in his left hand, but he wasn’t hurting anyone.
People from three different agencies tried to calm things down, but when Eastep pulled out a “silver, shiny cylindrical object” from his right pocket quickly, nine officers from three different agencies shot at him, Aaron says. Aaron says the object wasn’t a firearm, but it was not a gun.
Footage from a body-worn camera that Nashville police have released shows officers surrounding Eastep, who has his back to a berm that separates the two northbound and southbound lanes. When they fired, they can be seen surrounding him.
People can hear bursts of gun fire.
At the scene, Aaron said, the man was hit and died. No police officers were hurt.
Caught on tape:
The Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper stopped to check on Eastep when he saw him on the side of the road, WTVF says.
An off-duty officer from Mt. Juliet who was driving with his family stopped to help the trooper before more police arrived.
In the body-cam video, the officer from Mt. Juliet says, “Look, I don’t even have a vest on. I still pulled over on the interstate because I want you to go home today.” “I don’t want you to die on the side of the highway. Nobody likes that. These people have kids. You can see that I have kids in the car and kids nearby. Don’t show them that, brother.”
The officer from Mt. Juliet can be heard telling Eastep, “C’mon, brother, just drop the knife and get your hand out of your pocket.” “Don’t worry, we’ll figure it out. We’ll fix it! As long as you are safe, I don’t care about that right now. I’m worried about you. 🙂 Landon, I don’t know what to do. Let go, brother. I believe you can do it. So, I know what you want to do. This is your chance to do it.”
He then pulls his right hand from his pocket and points an object at the police in body camera footage.
“This is what Landon needs to do: come on brother. You should not do this, Landon. You should not do this, brother. Not at all!”
They then fired their guns at nine police officers. Those who worked for Metro Nashville Police, the THP, and the Mt. Juliet Police were all there.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now taking charge of the case.
Northbound drivers saw the shooting, and some even took cell phone videos of it, WTVF says.
The accident caused traffic to be stopped on a normally busy highway.