Tennessee authorities are searching for the son of Nashville’s police chief as a suspect in Saturday’s shooting of two suburban police officers.
He Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide blue alert Saturday night in an effort to locate the suspect, John Drake Jr., warning that the 38-year-old man, who is now wanted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, should be considered “armed and very dangerous.”
Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake confirmed the suspect is his son.
“I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn that my estranged son, with whom I have had minimal contact for many years, is the suspect in this afternoon’s shooting of the two La Vergne police officers,” Chief Drake said Saturday , adding that his thoughts are with the injured officers.
“Despite my efforts and guidance during his early years and adolescence, my son, John Drake Jr., now 38 years old, turned to years of criminal activity and is a convicted felon,” the chief said.
“He hasn’t been a part of my life for quite some time.”
Police say the shooting occurred during an altercation Saturday night in La Vergne, a suburb of Nashville.
“Our officers were investigating a stolen vehicle. During that investigation, they made contact with a subject,” La Vergne Police Chief Christopher Moews said at a news conference Saturday. “They struggled with that subject, and during that struggle, the suspect pulled out a gun and fired.”
One officer was shot in the shoulder and the other in the groin and forearm. The officers, who have been on the force for less than three years, were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Moews said.
One officer was released Saturday night and the other remains in the hospital in stable condition, the city of La Vergne he said in a statement.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which issues blue alerts when there is “an imminent threat to public safety and law enforcement personnel,” described the suspect He is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 195 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.
The agency said he was last seen in La Vergne around 2:30 p.m. Saturday “in the area of Stones River Road near Lake Forest Drive, wearing a black t-shirt with a hockey mask with red accents and pants. gray sports cars.”
The city had a shelter-in-place order in place for most of Saturday night. the city said It continued search efforts but lifted the order shortly after midnight, saying there was no immediate threat to the public.