NASHVILLE — Police released a video late Thursday showing body camera footage of a standoff with a man on Interstate 65 who pulled out a “metal, cylindrical item” from his pocket before nine officers fired their guns, killing him.
Landon Eastep, 37, was killed after a several-hour standoff with officers about 10 miles south of downtown, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. It began around 2 p.m. Thursday when a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper stopped after he saw Eastep sitting on a guardrail on the side of the interstate.
Eastep pulled out a box cutter as the trooper tried to negotiate with him, said Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron in the roughly 8-minute video released late Thursday.
An off-duty Mt. Juliet Police Department officer also stopped to help, who “attempted to de-escalate the situation and dialogue with Eastep for some 30 minutes as he held the box cutter in his left hand and kept his right hand in his pocket,” Aaron said in the video.
The video shows a clip from Metro Nashville officer James Kidd’s bodycam footage, which captured the voice of the Mt. Juliet officer as he urged Eastep to surrender and told him they would get him help. At least six other officers were visible in the video with weapons drawn, including Kidd. Several police vehicles with lights flashing were also visible nearby, and a helicopter can be seen circling overhead.
Eastep kept his hand in his right pocket throughout the negotiation and held what appeared to be a small black object in his left hand.
“Put your hand up, drop the knife and let’s figure this out,” the Mt. Juliet officer said during the standoff.
At one point, it appeared some of the officers moved away from Eastep. The Mt. Juliet officer also told Eastep that there were children in a car nearby as he urged him to surrender. Later, Mt. Juliet Police Capt. Tyler Chandler told reporters at the scene the Mt. Juliet officer’s family was in a car on the interstate and witnessed the shooting.
“Please,” the Mt. Juliet officer said in the video. “They’re going to have to live with this, too, not just me and you.”
Around the 6:15 minute mark of the video, Eastep appeared to take his right hand out of his pocket, grip something and raise his arms. The video captured multiple gunshots as Eastep fell to the ground. His arms appeared to be moving as the shots continue and the video cuts to another officer’s body camera footage.
Footage from Metro Nashville officer Sean Williams’ camera is seen in the video clip next, showing Eastep reach into his pocket and raise his arms as he gripped something in hands before officers opened fire.
An officer was heard yelling “Cease fire!” in Williams’ video as Eastep was on the ground.
In the video, Aaron says nine officers fired their weapons “.
“The metal, cylindrical item Eastep pulled from his pocket was not a firearm,” Aaron says in the video.
Six Metro Nashville Police Department officers are on routine administrative assignment as a result of the shooting, Aaron said. They are: James Kidd, Justin Pinkelton, Sean Williams, Edin Plancic, Brian Murphy and Sgt. Steven Carrick.
He did not name the off-duty Mt. Juliet officer or the Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper troopers who also fired their weapons.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Nashville District Attorney’s office will investigate and analyze the shooting in the days to come, Aaron said. Metro Nashville Police will also conduct an administrative review of the shooting.
Reach reporter Rachel Wegner on Twitter @rachelannwegner.
‘This too shall pass away’ this famous Persian adage seems to be defeating us again and again in the case of COVID-19. Despite every effort