Following the brutal killing of a 37-year-old man in the middle of Interstate 65 in Nashville – which could be likened to none other than a death by firing squad – a section of the highway was stopped for several hours Thursday. Nearly a dozen local and state law enforcement officers were involved in the shooting.
A man was shot and killed at Harding Place, roughly 10 miles south of downtown Nashville, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department. Officers from the MNPD, Tennessee Highway Patrol, and an off-duty Mt Juliet officer all participated in the shooting.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Inquiry, which is in charge of the investigation into the incident, the man was identified as Landon Eastep.
According to the TBI, no other people were hurt in the incident.
Despite officers’ appeals, Eastep seems to grab something from his trousers in the video, which was made public by the Metro Nashville Police Department.
According to a video released by the Nashville Police Department, a state trooper saw Eastep perched on a railing on the northbound side of Interstate 65 in Nashville shortly before 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon.
Police spokesman Don Aaron said that Eastep then took a box cutter from his pocket. As further officers arrived, an unnamed off-duty Mount Juliet officer attempted to calm Eastep.
According to a police statement: “The Mt. Juliet officer attempted to de-escalate the situation and dialogue with Eastep for some 30 minutes as he held the box cutter in his left hand and kept his right hand in his pocket,” Aaron said.
“Whatever you’re worried about we can fix it, let’s get you some help though,” the officer says. “This is not the answer, you and I know it. You don’t want to hurt me I know you don’t. And you know I damn sure don’t wanna hurt you, right?”
“Come on brother, put your hand up, drop the knife and let’s figure this out,” he adds.
In the video, even though Eastep was seemingly too far to do any damage to nearly a dozen armed officers with only a box cutter, the situation quickly spiraled out of control.
Here’s another video from one of the officer’s body cams:
After ignoring verbal commands from the officers’ to drop his box cutter, they all opened fire on the man simultaneously. Eastep immediately drops to the ground. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is now conducting an investigation into the incident.
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