Nashville, TN (TN Tribune)–Chief John Drake this afternoon directed that the MNPD Training Academy begin an immediate review of the response to Thursday afternoon’s multi-agency incident on I-65, as well as the tactics and procedures used by MNPD personnel.         

Multiple MNPD officers responded to a “Code 5000” (Personnel in Serious Danger) dispatch after Landon Eastep, 37, reportedly pulled a boxcutter on a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper on the shoulder of the interstate.  An off-duty Mt. Juliet police officer stopped to assist and was attempting to engage Eastep in dialogue when MNPD officers arrived.         

Nine law enforcement personnel, six MNPD officers, two Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers and the Mt. Juliet officer fired on Eastep after he drew what turned out to be a metal cylindrical object from his pocket and took a stance as if it was a firearm.         

“While the TBI conducts its investigation of the shooting on behalf of the District Attorney, I have directed that our Training Academy staff thoroughly examine how our officers positioned themselves in this multi-agency response and as well review the tactics and procedures used in relation to those that we teach,” Chief Drake said.  “This department regularly reviews critical incidents, and the work on this one has begun.  I am saddened by any loss of life, and I send my condolences to the Eastep family”         

Chief Drake, in a meeting with his Deputy Chiefs this afternoon, directed that Officer Brian Murphy, a 25-year MNPD veteran, be decommissioned (loss of police authority) pending a review and the investigation of his actions at the scene on Thursday.  Murphy has been identified as the individual who fired the final two shots from a rifle in this incident.

 The other five MNPD members who fired, Officer Justin Pinkelton, a 25-year MNPD veteran, Officer Sean Williams, a 17-year MNPD veteran, Officer Edin Plancic, a six-year MNPD veteran, Officer James Kidd, who joined the department last February, and Sgt. Steven Carrick, an eight-year MNPD veteran, are on routine administrative assignment at this early stage of the investigation.        

Chief Drake today also announced that the pilot co-response program that pairs mental health clinicians with certain officers in the Hermitage and North Precincts will be expanded in the near future to include the Central (downtown) and Midtown Hills Precincts.