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Nashville Police Chief’s Son Suspected In Shooting Of 2 Officers; Manhunt Underway

  A manhunt is underway for the son of the chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department following the shooting of two Tennessee pol...

 A manhunt is underway for the son of the chief of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department following the shooting of two Tennessee police officers on Saturday. 

While investigating a suspected stolen vehicle outside of a Dollar General store in La Vergne, Tennessee, roughly 20 miles southeast of Nashville, two La Vergne police officers were allegedly shot by 38-year-old John C. Drake, Jr. – the son of Nashville Police Chief John Drake. The officers were hospitalized following the shooting, and Chief Drake has since called for his son’s arrest. 

“I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn that my estranged son, with whom I have had very minimal contact over many years, is the suspect in this afternoon’s shooting of the two La Vergne police officers,” Drake said. 

“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. He has not been a part of my life for quite some time. He now needs to be found and held accountable for his actions today,” he continued, urging anyone with information to contact police immediately.

When police arrived to investigate the suspected stolen car just before 2:30 p.m., they initially struggled with the suspect, who pulled out a handgun and proceeded to fire several shots at the officers, La Vergne Police Chief Christopher Moews said. According to the New York Post, one of the officers, who has been with the department for a year and a half, was shot in the groin and right forearm. The other has been with the department for nearly three years and was shot in the rear left shoulder. After the shooting, authorities say Drake fled the scene in the car in question. One of the officers was released from the hospital on Saturday night, while the other was expected to stay overnight for observation.

Moews called on residents in the area to shelter in place following the shooting. That order lasted roughly 11 hours, according to the Post, but the suspect still has not been found. He is considered armed and dangerous. 


Roughly a dozen law enforcement agencies are now involved in the manhunt for Drake Jr., who is wanted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a social media post. A statewide alert has been issued for the suspect, who is 5’11” and weighs 195 pounds. 

“My heart goes out to Chief Drake, his family, and the two wounded LaVergne police officers. I know that despite our best efforts — including in their early years — we can’t be responsible for the choices of family members,” Nashville Democratic Mayor Freddie O’Connell said. “I support Chief Drake and stand by him at this difficult time.”

Since 2005, Drake Jr. has been criminally charged 59 times in Davidson County alone, which, as the New York Post notes, does not include La Vergne, located in neighboring Rutherford County. Drake Jr. has previously been charged with theft, burglary, possession of a controlled substance, and assault, among other offenses. He has been convicted of four separate sex offender violations, according to the Post. 

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