*CORRECTS REFERENCE TO KIDD BEING MT. JULIET POLICE OFFICER; ADDS ‘YOU’ IN GRAF 9, ADDS ‘AND POINTS IT AT POLICE’ IN GRAF 12
By Darren Lyn
Houston, TEXAS (AA) - A man in the US state of Tennessee was shot and killed by nine police officers after a tense standoff on a Nashville highway.
The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department (MNPD) released a video statement on Friday and said a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper was driving on Interstate 65 when he noticed Landon Eastep, 37, sitting on a guardrail on Thursday.
The trooper stopped to give Eastep a ride but reported Eastep pulled out a box cutter.
An off-duty Mt. Juliet police officer arrived and began talking to Eastep, waiting for backup.
A five-minute video of the standoff was released from MNPD Officer James Kidd’s body camera detailing the Mt. Juliet officer’s interaction with Eastep.
“Just drop it brother,” he said. “Landon, come on, brother, let me help you out, you will not end up in jail.”
Right after the exchange, bodycam footage shows two officers raising their guns.
The Mt. Juliet officer continued to talk for two and a half minutes, encouraging Eastep to drop the box cutter from his left hand and take his right hand out of his pocket.
''Look, I don’t have a damn vest on, and I still stopped here on the Interstate because I want you to go home today, I don’t want you to end up dead on the side of the interstate … just drop the knife, get your hand out of your pocket. If that’s a gun what you got in there, don’t worry about it, we’ll figure it out.”
Less than 30 seconds later, the two had one last exchange.
“Landon, please, brother, don’t do it, don’t do it.”
At that moment, Eastep appears to pull something from his pocket and points it at police.
The Mt. Juliet officer shouts: “No! No! No!” And all officers immediately fire at Eastep, as he drops to the ground.
The gunfire lasts about 5 seconds, until an officer yells, “Cease fire!”
“The metal cylindrical item Eastep pulled from his pocket was not a firearm,” said police spokesman Don Aaron. “Nine law enforcement personnel fired their weapons after Eastep took a stance, as if he had a firearm.”
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is investigating the fatal shooting, which involved six MNPD officers, two Tennessee state troopers and the Mt. Juliet officer.
The six MNPD officers have been placed on administrative leave.