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  • Writer's picturejohn kepler

Body camera: Nashville police shooting - suspect dead

Donovan Coble, a four-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, was in stable condition

Donovan Coble, a four-year veteran of the Metro Nashville Police Department, was in stable condition Thursday evening after police say a suspect fired at him near Donelson Pike.

Police said Coble, a member of the Communications Field Intelligence Unit at the Hermitage Precinct, was in the area responding to a report of an armed man breaking into vehicles.

"We've had a problem with theft from vehicles, especially guns (that) have been stolen, especially in this area," MNPD Chief John Drake said during a press briefing.

Drake added that one of Coble's lungs had to be re-inflated, and that he is married and has twin 1-year-old children.

A SWAT team confronted the suspect behind a brush pile on Upshaw Drive, just west of Donelson Pike, near where the shooting was reported. The suspect, Delama Casimir, 37, died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

On Friday, Coble was upgraded from critical, yet stable condition to stable condition has he remains hospitalized for treatment.

Body camera footage released

MNPD on late Thursday night released a 2 minute and 20 second clip from Coble’s body camera.

The video shows Coble shouting “show us your hands now” to Casimir as he exits his vehicle.

A foot chase begins as Coble weaves through parked vehicles after Casimir. Another officer chasing the suspect yells for Casimir to stop.

Coble removes his taser from his belt as he chases Casimir on grass toward a wooded fence.

The chase continues as Casimir hops the fence, followed by Coble as they cross a street running between homes.

"I'm gonna tase you if you don't stop right now," Coble says in the video. "I've already got you."

Coble then says "drop that gun" as more than a dozen shots ring out.

Coble keels over, telling another officer "I'm hit, I'm hit ... I'm hit."

The two make their way toward the street where Coble enters an unmarked police vehicle.

Coble tells dispatch he was hit by gunfire in the ribs. Coble can be heard saying "I shot him, I think" as the video cuts out.

The officer and suspect were transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where a heavy police presence blocked the hospital's entrance.

The shooting was initially reported around 2:30 p.m. at The Parking Spot, near the Nashville airport. Within an hour, dozens of police swarmed the scene, diverting traffic from the area and processing the scene. Several restaurants fast food restaurants locked down as police lined caution tape around utility poles near Donelson Pike, Shacklett Drive and Royal Parkway.

Police also released a one minute and 48 second video from SWAT officer Timothy Brewer's body camera.

The video begins with Brewer asking a fellow officer if he'll clear a patch of brush in front of him. A red, brick home can be seen in the video to his right.

"We can probably take care of this while they hold on that," Brewer says.

He begins walking toward the brush and gets a couple steps in when he spots Casimir.

"Let me see your hands," he yells.

Halfway through yelling again, about 27 seconds into the video, Brewer appears to fire from his rifle multiple times. Casimir cries out after the gunfire. It's unclear from the video is Casimir fired at Brewer.

Brewer yells a third time for Casimir to put his hands up as another officer yells the same command. At least five more officers are visible approaching the brush patch from Brewer's right.

Three officers, including Brewer surround Casimir telling him to stop moving then to put his hands up.

"He's got a gun in his hand," one officer says.

An officer gives Casimir a command to roll over on his stomach multiple times. While Casimir is not visible in the video, the foliage around him sways from side to side as he moves.

The officers move in to restrain Casimir, and blood is visible on his left elbow. What appears to be a gunshot wound is blurred out on his back. The video ends with officers telling Casimir to put his hands behind his back as he's face down in the grass.

Police: What led to the shooting

Drake said Casimir was seen at the location earlier.

Employees at the Parking Spot, an off-site parking lot for travelers at the Nashville International Airport, called police when they noticed Casimir breaking into cars, police said.

Coble approached Casimir who then began running, jumped a fence and fired shots at Coble, who returned fire. Police believe Coble's return fire struck Casimir, according to MNPD spokesperson Don Aaron.

Police recovered a semi-automatic pistol at the scene.

Aaron said Coble was struck in the abdomen at least once. His partner rendered aid while other officers began tracking Casimir.

SWAT officers were called to the area around Claridge and Upshaw Drives, less than half a mile from The Parking Spot, to find Casimir. Officer Brewer, a 16-year veteran of the police department, was clearing brush when he came upon Casimir.

"Officer Brewer began shouting commands to Casimir and reported seeing the pistol," according to a Thursday evening statement from police. "Brewer perceived a gunshot and fired on Casimir."

SWAT officers rendered aid to Casimir before he was taken to the hospital for surgery. He ultimately died at the hospital about 7:30 p.m.

Coble: Recently honored by local organization

On Tuesday, the Exchange Club of Donelson-Hermitage named Coble its Officer of the Year, according to a Facebook post. The post states that Coble was a detective with the Hermitage Precinct.

Coble has also been part of Partners in Care, a pilot program partnered masters-level mental health clinicians with police officers on calls considered to be potential mental health crises. The program was created to divert people in crisis to intervention and resources instead of the legal system.

Shooting halts traffic during rush hour

Police closed the westbound ramp of I-40 to Donelson Pike, impacting commuters in the middle of rush hour traffic. Mt Juliet Police Department advise taking Lebanon Road or Central Pike.

"The interstate was shut down for a time, because we didn't know where the suspect was, and we didn't want a gunman running onto the interstate trying to wave down a motorist," Aaron said.



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