John Drake Jr., the Nashville police chief’s son who was declared wanted in the shooting of two police officers, was on Tuesday found dead after he engaged police in a pursuit, authorities announced, per CNN.
The 38-year-old’s death comes after authorities launched a manhunt for him following the shooting incident in the suburb of Vergne, Nashville, on Saturday night. Drake is said to have opened fire during a struggle with the officers, resulting in the law enforcement officials sustaining injuries. He was later declared wanted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Metropolitan Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron said Drake was spotted again on Tuesday after he carjacked a couple at gunpoint when they refused to grant him a ride. Aaron said Drake later engaged the police in a pursuit after officers saw him in the car that he had stolen. The police spokesperson said the vehicle ultimately got involved in a crash, causing the suspect to exit and take to his heels. He later entered a shed at the back of a downtown Nashville home, Aaron added.
“While the officers were surrounding the residence to contain the shed, a gunshot was heard and it appears that he has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” said Aaron.
Authorities have since launched an investigation into Drake’s death. “The La Vergne community and our heroic officers can rest easy tonight knowing that the manhunt for John Drake, Jr. is over,” said La Vergne Police Chief Christopher Moews in a statement on Tuesday.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation had placed Drake on its “most wanted” list in the wake of the shootings on Saturday night, CNN reported. Authorities also cautioned he should be considered “armed and very dangerous.”
Drake is said to have opened fire while the police officers were investigating a stolen vehicle case. “During that investigation, they made contact with a subject,” Moews said on Saturday. “They struggled with that subject, and during that struggle, the suspect produced a handgun and fired shots.”
The injured officers were taken to the hospital for treatment and later discharged. Moews said the injured officers were at home recovering as of Tuesday. Drake was the son of Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake. On Saturday, the deceased suspect’s father said his son was estranged.
“Despite my efforts and guidance in the early and teenage years, my son, John Drake Jr., now 38 years old, resorted to years of criminal activity and is a convicted felon,” the police chief said on Saturday.
The police chief on Wednesday also issued a statement expressing his gratitude to authorities for their efforts in locating his son, adding that he and his family were privately mourning their loss.
“I am grateful to the members of law enforcement, including many officers from this department, who worked diligently since Saturday to locate my son and bring him to custody,” Chief John Drake said in the statement.
“It was my prayer no harm would come to him or anyone else. I am heartbroken and saddened by the outcome. I appreciate the condolences and kind words of support as my family and I privately mourn our loss.”