Nashville officer shot while walking dog leads to armed standoff and police chase

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NASHVILLE, TN – An off-duty police officer was shot while he was walking his dog, in a manner that is rather unsettling to say the least. However, when police caught up with the suspect, a shootout transpired that left the suspect dead.

What started as an off-duty cop being shot later evolved into an armed standoff leaving a suspect dead. The incident is currently being investigated by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation due to the nature of the crime involving police killing the suspect.

Authorities say that a 13-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, Officer Darrell Osment, was walking his dog around 9:00 p.m. on May 21st. While walking through a neighborhood near Ashland City that evening, Officer Darrell passed by a man and the two exchanged ‘hellos’ while passing by.

Then, according to police, the man who passed by Officer Osment produced a gun and shot the officer in the shoulder.

The investigation has police wondering what may have motivated this alleged act, as there was no obvious sign that Officer Osment was a police officer. Don Aaron from the Metro Nashville Police Department’s Public Affairs Office noted this curious aspect of the unprovoked gunfire:

“Osment is in plain clothes, no indication he works for the police department. Just very strange. This is absolutely bizarre.”

Officer Osment was able to escape after being shot, making his way to a nearby home to call 911. During the call, he was able to give a description of the vehicle that the suspect got into after the near-fatal encounter.

The suspect was later identified as 48-year-old William Johnson Jr., and police were able to get a hit on the suspect’s vehicle not long after Officer Osment was shot. Metro officers attempted to deploy spike strips to disable the suspect’s vehicle not far from the North Precinct station.

However, it was reported that Johnson began firing a gun at police near where the spike strips were deployed; luckily no one was hit by said gunfire. Johnson was then said to have gotten onto I-440, and spike strips were deployed once more in an effort to disable the vehicle.

The vehicle had reportedly stopped in the eastbound lane not far from the Nolensville Pike exit. According to Aaron from the department’s public affairs office, Johnson exited the vehicle and began shooting at officers once again:

“The suspect’s door comes open and the officers report that shots are being fired by the suspect. They exchanged shots, and returned fire.”

Three officers were noted as having opened fire against the suspect during the fray. Those officers were later identified as Officers David Lang, Jacob Krispin and Terrence Stuckey.

Aaron noted that the officers engaged in the firefight with the suspect were actively trying to eliminate the threat that the suspect presented:

“Officers were doing everything they could do to get this man stopped, knowing the danger he posed to the Nashville community as a whole.”

The interstate standoff ended with Johnson being taken down.

Josh DeVine serves as the spokesman for the TBI, which is the agency tasked with the investigation into what all unfolded with police and this suspect. DeVine stated that there were numerous rounds found to have been exchanged between police and the suspect in this final standoff:

“There is a large volume of ballistics evidence. We estimate that more than 50 rounds have to be gathered on the interstate.”

That is certainly a whole lot of brass.

Thankfully, Officer Osment is said to be in stable condition.

After he was shot, he was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, having suffered a gunshot wound to his right shoulder. The bullet was said to have been removed from him when admitted into care.

Jill Fitcheard, who serves as the Metro Nashville Community Oversight Director, also stated that an inquiry into the chain of events will be conducted by her agency as well.

In the meantime in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Law Enforcement Today has learned that a man who shot at a sheriff’s deputy in Baton Rouge, Louisiana had been released from federal prison in January. Bernard Ledlow, 39, shot at an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Deputy at around 7:30 Sunday morning. 

WBRZ reported that a sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop Ledlow’s vehicle Sunday when the vehicle Ledlow was driving was operating erratically in the city. According to the sheriff’s office, the deputy believed that the operator may have been asleep at the wheel when he engaged him.

However, Ledlow had other things in mind. Instead of stopping, Ledlow engaged the deputy in pursuit. During the chase, Ledlow fired several shots at the pursuing deputy, with one shot taking out a window of the deputy’s patrol vehicle.

The deputy suffered a minor gunshot wound when the bullet grazed their leg. According to police, Ledlow was using a rifle to shoot at pursuing deputies. In addition, he shot at a deputy who was setting up spike strips as well.

About seven miles after the pursuit began, Ledlow crashed his car, then fled into the woods near the Amite River in East Baton Rouge. During the foot pursuit, Ledlow continued shooting at deputies, detectives said.

Sheriffs deputies then set up a perimeter in order to contain Ledlow, and evacuated homes in the area. A six-hour manhunt ensued and ended with Ledlow being killed by law enforcement officers. Authorities used search dogs, helicopters and marine craft along the river.  

Sheriff Sid Gautreux said that he was glad that Ledlow was no longer a threat.

“We’re very relieved the suspect is no longer a threat to the people living there,” he said.

According to The Advocate, Ledlow had just completed a 17-year prison sentence for federal gun and drug infractions, according to local and federal authorities.

He had been arrested 13 times prior to his federal prison sentence and had been convicted of two felonies in Ascension Parish prior to his prison term. That case involved a felony armed robbery conviction, after Ledlow had held up a bar at gunpoint in 1999.

Earlier this year, authorities had warned agencies that Ledlow posed a threat not only to officers, but also to the general public, Gautreux said.

Ledlow was released on supervised home release.

The gun that he possessed was described as an “assault” rifle and noted that the SUV he was driving in the pursuit had been borrowed from a neighbor.

The name of the injured deputy was not released by the sheriff’s office. Gautreux noted that the shooting of Ledlow would be investigated by the sheriff’s office.

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This is the second officer-involved shooting in Baton Rouge in the past few weeks, with a Baton Rouge police officer being fatally shot a few weeks ago.

In that April 26 incident, Ronnie DeWayne Kato Jr. was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. He also faces the death penalty in the case, after prosecutors announced they would pursue those ends a few days after the shooting.

KIRO-7 reported that in that shooting, veteran Baton Rouge officer Lt. Glenn Dale Hutto, 45 was killed and a second officer, Cpl. Derrick Maglone was critically injured in an ambush attack by Kato outside a home in the city’s Hopewell Park neighborhood. Hutto was posthumously promoted to the rank of lieutenant, police said. Hutto was survived by his wife and four daughters.

The shooting occurred when Hutto and Maglone went to question Kato about a murder earlier that morning.

Police said that evidence at the scene of the shooting showed that Kato had stood over Lt. Hutto as he lay on the ground, and continued firing bullets into him, according to the Associated Press.

Regarding the death penalty, East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said that while his officer rarely seeks the death penalty, it was doing so in this case.

“My office rarely seeks the death penalty. We do so only in the most serious of cases,” Moore said, according to WAFB in Baton Rouge. “The fats as alleged in the affidavits and from information that I have learned are egregious.”

“As for me and my office, based on what I know now, I believe pursuing this matter as a death penalty case is what justice would demand,” Moore said.

Prior to assassinating Lt. Hutto, Kato had shot and killed Curtis Richardson, 58, a father of three.

Kato, 36, was charged with two counts of first degree murder, six counts of attempted first-degree murder, five counts of home invasion, and one count of aggravated battery, according to jail records obtained by the Associated Press.

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