NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A Metro Nashville police officer is under investigation after shooting and killing a man who was charging at him with two butcher knives, police said early Saturday morning.
According to MNPD Spokesperson Don Aaron, North Precinct officer Christopher Royer was on patrol when he ran the license plate of a white Mercedes that was on Clarksville Pike.
The plate came back registered to a green Chevrolet, police said. So, Officer Royer initiated a traffic stop to investigate near the intersection of Clarksville Pike and Summit Ave. in Bordeaux.
Investigators said the driver of the white Mercedes was cooperating with the traffic stop, however, his passenger began exhibiting "bizarre" behavior.
"The passenger immediately got out of the Mercedes with two large butcher knives, one in each hand, and began running around erratically," Aaron explained at an early morning news conference.
Officer Royer was wearing a body camera at the time of the incident.
It shows the knife-wielding man running around Royer's patrol vehicle, and getting into the driver's seat at one point.
Officer Royer can be heard on the body camera video telling the man to drop the knife.
The man who was driving the Mercedes was also heard on the body camera footage saying, "What are you doing?" It's unclear how the two knew each other, police said.
Body camera footage shows the man who was shot getting out of the patrol vehicle and moving toward Officer Royer. Officer Royer is seen walking backward while continuing to order the man to drop the knife.
"I don't want to shoot you," Officer Royer yelled to the man.
In the eight seconds after Royer told the unidentified man he didn't want to shoot him, Royer is seen on body camera video calling for back-up, then the man is seen running toward him. That's when Officer Royer fired three shots and the man fell to the ground.
The body camera footage that was released to the media ends with Officer Royer calling for help and ordering the driver of the Mercedes to stay away.
"What you don't see on there is when he was down, there were five officers that rendered aid to this individual," Metro Police Chief John Drake explained at the press conference.
Chief Drake said he felt mixed emotions when he got the call about the shooting Saturday morning.
"He did everything he could, I felt," Drake said. "He retreated, he asked the individual to drop the weapon several times, continued charging at him, and he was left with no choice."
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation was called to look into this case. The District Attorney's Office will also assist.
"His rather bizarre behavior, we will try to find out what all this stemmed from," Chief Drake said. "This appears to possibly be justified, we'll find out as the investigation moves forward."
Drake explained the driver of the Mercedes is cooperating.
Officer Royer has been with Metro Nashville Police Department for four years.