Off-duty Metro officer shot while walking dog; Suspect shot, killed on I-440 following pursuit

Posted at 10:46 PM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 23:28:22-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — An off-duty Metro Nashville police officer was injured when he was shot while walking his dog near Ashland City Thursday night. Police later shot and killed the suspect on Interstate 440 following a pursuit.

Metro Nashville police said Officer Darrell Osment was walking his dog near Bull Run Road in Northwest Davidson County at about 9 p.m. when he walked past a man he didn't know. The two exchanged "hello's," police said.

After they walked past each other, the suspect pulled out a gun and shot Officer Osment in the shoulder. According to police, the gunman fired his gun again as Officer Osment was on the ground, but missed and hit the dirt.

Aaron said Officer Osment was able to get up and run to a nearby relative's home to call 911 and give dispatchers a description of the suspect's vehicle as it left the parking lot of a nearby church.

"Osment is in plain clothes, no indication he works for the police department. Just very strange," said Don Aaron, of Metro Nashville Police Department's Public Affairs Office. "This is absolutely bizarre."

Metro officers were able to spot the suspect's vehicle quickly and deploy spike strips near the North Precinct. But as the suspect's vehicle came by, the gunman began firing at an officer again. No one was hit by the gunfire, and the suspect kept driving.

Ultimately, the suspect drove onto I-440. Spike strips were put down, and the vehicle stopped in the eastbound lanes near the Nolensville Pike exit.

"The suspect's door comes open and the officers report that shots are being fired by the suspect," said Aaron. "They exchanged shots, and returned fire."

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation spokesperson Josh DeVine identified the suspect as 48-year-old William Johnson Jr. DeVine said three Metro officers fired at Johnson, who was shot and killed.

Metro police later identified those officers as Officer David Lang, Officer Jacob Krispin and Officer Terrence Stuckey.

"Officers were doing everything they could do to get this man stopped, knowing the danger he posed to the Nashville community as a whole," said Aaron.

Officers said they recovered the suspect's 9mm pistol on the ground next to his vehicle.

DeVine said due to the amount of evidence at the scene, I-440 would be closed for hours, adding that the scene is very tight and compressed. The roadway later reopened shortly before 11 a.m.

“There is a large volume of ballistics evidence. We estimate that more than 50 rounds have to be gathered on the interstate,” DeVine said.

Officer Osment was admitted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with the gunshot wound to his right shoulder. The bullet needed to be removed from his body, police said. He was released Friday evening and will be continuing to recover with his family.

According to investigators, Officer Osment has worked for the Metro Nashville Police Department for 13 years. He is currently assigned to the property and evidence facility.

Because this police-involved shooting involves a death, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will take over the case.

Metro Nashville Community Oversight Director Jill Fitcheard was at the scene Thursday night and says her agency plans to launch its own inquiry.