TBI: Police Chief's Son Took Own Life After Chase

John C. Drake Jr., suspect in weekend shooting of 2 cops, was found dead on Tuesday
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2023 9:25 AM CDT
Nashville Police Chief's Son, Wanted in Shooting, Found Dead
John C. Drake Jr..   (Metro Nashville Police Department via AP)

The search for the estranged son of the head of Nashville's police force has come to a grim end. Authorities say John C. Drake Jr. was found dead in South Nashville on Tuesday, three days after he allegedly shot and injured two police officers, per the Tennessean. Drake Jr. "has died from what preliminarily appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound," the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a statement late Tuesday, adding that an autopsy would be performed on Drake Jr., the son of Nashville Police Chief John Drake.

Metro Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron says that officers responding to leads in the case on Tuesday were in the 1400 block area of the city's 15th Avenue South after tracking a car they say Drake Jr. stole at gunpoint, per the Tennessean. Apparently, "Drake asked a man and woman in front of a home for a ride and when they were unable or unwilling to give him a ride, he pulled out a gun and demanded the car in the driveway," Aaron says, per the AP. When the car crashed, Drake Jr. got out and fled into a nearby shed, Aaron notes. WSMV has footage of some of the pursuit and the crash.

That's when officers "heard a muffled gunshot" from the outbuilding, per the TBI statement. The agency says the officers found Drake Jr. dead. "This was a tragic end to John Drake Jr.'s life, and our heart goes out to Chief Drake and his family at this difficult time," Nashville Mayor Freddie O'Connell said Wednesday morning, per the Tennessean. The two officers who were injured in Saturday's shooting at a Dollar General store, Ashley Boleyjack and Gregory Kern, have been treated at a local hospital and released. Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk has directed the TBI to launch a probe into the death of Drake Jr., who'd been facing charges of first-degree attempted murder in the case. (More Nashville stories.)

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