Parents search for answers, question police in son's death

Posted at 5:28 PM, Feb 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 22:08:33-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The family of Markquette Martin say they’re angry with how little information there is on the death of their son.

Martin died while running away from officers Wednesday. Police say he shot himself, in what's being described as a 'probably not intentional' shooting.

Read More: Police: Man dies from 'probably accidental' self-inflicted shooting while running from officers

“I feel like every other father who loses a child. It’s like it just ripped my heart out," said Markquette Gray, Martin's father.

Gray stood only a matter of feet from where Martin died when he spoke to NewsChannel 5 about the incident Thursday. He’s heard Metro Nashville Police's account of the incident but compared to what his neighbors have been telling him for the past several hours, he says he has no clear answers.

Police say a neighbor flagged down two officers to report a man in a blue "bubble" coat and beanie had a gun and shouldn't have one. Officers say they found a person fitting the description, but when they asked to talk, he ran. The man was later identified as Martin.

Officials said Martin shot himself while running from officers - something they believe was "probably not intentional." MNPD Spokesperson Don Aaron said, "perhaps he had his finger on the trigger guard and in the running movements, the gun discharged"

Gray said his son was not suicidal and therefore could not have turned the gun on himself.

Metro Police officials released surveillance video of the incident from the MDHA video system, but that video pauses throughout. About the video, police said that "the MDHA video system does not record continuously. The “freezes” in the video are from the system itself."

Read More: Investigation continues into deadly shooting in South Nashville

Gray has seen videos shared on social media, and he and his family believe someone out there knows exactly what happened.

“I’m from around here, born and raised. Very loyal to a lot of people around here; so I know without a doubt they are going to come through," said Gray.

Metro Police say they found one spent shell casing on the scene and early indications are that they came from a gun carried by Martin. According to police officials, preliminary autopsy information shows that Martin died of a single gunshot wound that entered through the right side of the head and came out the left side, but the manner of death (suicide or accidental) is still under investigation. MNPD is also running the ballistics on the bullet and the casing found on the ground.

Martin’s mother Lenieshia Woods says this is merely an attempt to cover up what happened to her son and she won’t stand for it.

“I don’t want to keep seeing stuff slipped under the rug as everything else does around here. I want what happened to my son to go noticed and let everybody else know it’s not right," said Woods.

Woods says she’s asking neighbors to come forward with any video or pictures of their own to their family church at Saint Luke Primitive Baptist in Nashville.

Video or pictures can be sent to the email below:

Saint Luke Primitive Baptist Church
Pastor Nicholas Patterson -