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Officer shoots and kills knife-wielding man

KIFI

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    NASHVILLE (WSMV) — A Metro Police Officer is on administrative assignment after he shot and killed a man on Clarksville Pike early Saturday morning.

Police have not identified the man who died as they continue to notify the next of kin, but said Officer Christopher Royer pulled over a white Mercedes just before midnight after running a license plate check and discovering the plate was registered to a 1998 green Chevrolet.

MNPD’s Don Aaron said the driver of the Mercedes stopped and “presented no issues at anytime, the passenger however immediately got out of the Mercedes with two large butcher knives, one in each hand, and began running around erratically.”

In released body cam video, Officer Royer repeatedly yells to drop the knives. It also shows the person with the knives try and get into the police officer’s car.

Along with Officer Royer, the driver of the Mercedes is heard yelling “What are you doing?” and “Stop.”

Aaron said ultimately, the passenger charged Royer with the knives as Officer Royer backpaddled 25 yards from his police car. That’s when Royer shoots his gun three times.

“No officer wants to deal with this type of situation as officer Royer encountered tonight. He did everything he could I felt. He retreated. He asked the individual to drop the weapon several times. He continued charging at him and he was left with no choice,” said Chief John Drake in a press conference.

He continued, “What you don’t see on there is when he was down, there was five officers that rendered aid to this individual.”

MNPD said Officer Royer has been with the department for 4 years.

They will do an administrative review as the TBI and Davidson County DA also investigate the shooting.

The unidentified man, also referred to as the passenger of the car was taken to VUMC where he died.

When asked about why the officer may have been doing a license plate check, Chief Drake explained that with about 3000 stolen vehicles a year, “officers often run tags to determine if a vehicle is stolen or not.”

Chief Drake was also asked why a taser was not used. Drake said, “I’m sure he did have a taser, our officers are issued tasers but in those situations, that’s a lethal situation. He de-escalated by retreating, moved backwards, again ordering the individual to drop the weapon. In those situations that are lethal, you can’t use a less lethal if someone’s attacking you with a knife.”

It’s unclear what the relationship is between the driver and passenger.

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