Tennessee authorities have begun a manhunt for John C. Drake Jr., the son of a Nashville police chief, who is the primary suspect in the shooting of two officers outside a Dollar General store.
The incident occurred in La Vergne, a city roughly 20 miles southeast of Nashville. Saturday afternoon, police officers were conducting an investigation regarding a stolen vehicle in front of the store.
According to La Vergne Police Chief Christopher Moews, during their encounter with the suspect, a struggle ensued during which the suspect brandished a handgun and opened fire, striking the officers.
One of the injured officers was shot in the pelvis and right forearm, while the other was struck in the left back shoulder. The two officers were rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Anne Smith, a spokesperson for the city of La Vergne, reported that one of the officers was discharged from the hospital on Saturday night, while the other remained under observation in stable condition.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation used social media to announce a statewide alert for Drake, Jr. The suspect is being sought for two counts of attempted homicide in the first degree. Smith further revealed that approximately a dozen law enforcement agencies were involved in the search for Drake.
John Drake, police chief of Nashville, issued the following statement:
“I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn that my estranged son, with whom I have had very minimal contact over many years, is the suspect in this afternoon’s shooting of the two La Vergne police officers. My thoughts and prayers are with the two officers, who I understand are now in stable condition at Vanderbilt.
Despite my efforts and guidance in the early and teenage years, my son, John Drake Jr., now 38-years-old, resorted to years of criminal activity and is a convicted felon. He has not been a part of my life for quite some time. 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 manhunt was reported by WKRN News 2: