Police sergeant shot during stop remains critical - WKRN News 2

Police sergeant shot during stop remains critical

Posted: Updated: June 27, 2009 07:46 PM CDT
Sgt. Mark Chesnut is a 22-year veteran of the Metro Police Department. Sgt. Mark Chesnut is a 22-year veteran of the Metro Police Department.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro police Sgt. Mark Chesnut remains in critical condition after he was shot multiple times during a traffic stop Thursday afternoon.

Metro police said Chesnut, 44, stopped the suspect's vehicle on Interstate 40 East in Bellevue because the driver, 25-year-old Courtney Logan, was not wearing his seatbelt.

As Chesnut was running Logan's license, Logan's passenger and Mississippi prison escapee, 30-year-old Joseph Jackson, walked up to the patrol car where Chesnut was seated and opened fire.  He later confessed to the shooting.

Chesnut was shot multiple times, suffering injuries to his abdomen and right arm.

He underwent surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center to repair major internal organ damage Thursday afternoon.

More surgeries are expected and Vanderbilt officials are hopeful Chesnut will make a full recovery.

"He suffered a life-threatening injury, he's on the ventilator, he's on life support but we're all very hopeful that ultimately he'll return home to his family and ultimately return to work," said Dr. John Morris, director of the Division of Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Vanderbilt.

"I don't think we'd use the term ‘in the clear' at this juncture," he continued.  "Officer Chesnut in critical condition having suffered multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen and to the right arm."

Co-workers are praying for their colleague and said the shooting is a harsh reminder of just how dangerous police work can be.

"Just reiterates that nothing's routine," Metro police Lt. Melvin Brown told News 2.  "You don't want to be complacent but I must say that sometimes no matter how much caution and care that you take, you can get hurt."

"Just wanted to tell him way to go," Sgt. Phil Vincion said. "I understand he did a really good job from everyone's description and really held himself together and got the information out there despite his very dire circumstances that enabled us to capture the suspects relatively quickly."

"We're here for you, we're praying for you, anything you need, you got it," Sgt. Melissa Schultz said.

The Suspects

Mississippi prison escapee Jackson and his accomplice to that escape, Logan, remain behind bars in Nashville.

Metro police said Jackson admitted to shooting Chesnut because he "didn't want to go back to jail."

He is charged with attempted murder, unlawful gun possession by a convicted felon, being a fugitive from justice, and theft of a correction officer's gun.

His bail is set at $3.36 million

Logan, of Louisville, Kentucky, is jailed on charges of attempted murder and unlawful gun possession by a convicted felon.

His bail is set at $3.1 million.

He was put on suicide watch Friday, after Davidson County jail officials confirmed he tried to hang himself with a laundry bag rope.

Jackson, who was serving a life-sentence for armed robbery and aggravated assault charges, escaped custody during an optometrist appointment in Greenwood, Mississippi Thursday morning.

Logan aided his escape.

Police said the pair knew each other from Louisville.

Both are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. 

Sgt. Mark Chesnut

Sgt. Mark Chesnut is 44-years-old and a 22-year veteran of the Metro Police Department.

He was previously a supervisor in the Youth Services Department and now works for the Interstate Interdiction Unit.

Officers in the Interstate Interdiction Unit are uniformed officers that travel in unmarked cars on the interstate, looking for traffic violators.

Chesnut has a wife and one child.

The family has set up a Twitter account, Twitter.com/MarkChesnut, to update the community on his condition.


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