NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A 21-year-old man has died after police say he shot himself in the head while running from officers in South Nashville Wednesday. They say the shot could have been accidental.
According to Metro Nashville Police officials, the incident happened while members of the department's community engagement team were working in the area.
A person flagged down two officers to report a man in a blue "bubble" coat and beanie had a gun and shouldn't have one. Officers walked the area and found the person, identified as 21-year-old Markquett Martin, but when they asked to talk, he took off running.
Officers chased after Martin. Police say he fell during the chase, dropping his coat and the gun but he stopped to pick it back up and continued to run away as officers yelled for him to drop the gun.
Police officials say while running away on Claiborne Street, Martin shot himself in the head. Officials say it may not have been intentional. They said none of the officers used any force or fired a weapon during the chase.
"Now at this point, one would think it was probably not intentional, that perhaps he had his finger on the trigger guard and in the running movements, the gun discharged," said MNPD Spokesman Don Aaron.
MNPD investigating self-inflicted shooting, possibly accidental, of 21 yr old man with a gun who was running from officers in a public housing area on Claiborne St. A citizen alerted community engagement officers that the man had a gun. No officers fired or used any force. pic.twitter.com/MKY4osnGN9— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) February 10, 2021
The man was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he died from his injury.
Officials say Martin carried a .40 caliber pistol with an extended magazine.
The incident was caught on the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) surveillance system,
WARNING viewer discretion is advised:
The above video shows running from two Hermitage Precinct community engagement officers a public housing area off Claiborne Street.
Officials released the video along with a clarification stating "the MDHA video system does not record continuously. The “freezes” in the video are from the system itself."
Detectives are continuing to investigate his death. An autopsy is pending.
The investigation is ongoing. Reports of gunfire in the area had already been reported twice this week, police say.
The Metro Nashville Community Oversight Board released the following statement saying the board had was briefed of the incident:
ED Fitcheard received ECC notifications and a phone call from MNPD related to a citizen shooting. The ECC notification requested that MNCO respond to the scene. Asst. Director Chris Clausi responded to the scene and was briefed about the situation which was still under active investigation. At that time of his arrival, information was still being collected from witnesses and he was told that MNPD officers did not engage in the use of force. The victim of the shooting was not on the scene at the time of his arrival and had been transported to the hospital. The MNCO will continue to monitor as the situation progresses.