Officer critically injured in shooting, 2 suspects in custody
June 25, 2009 06:43 PM CDT
Sgt. Mark Chestnut is a 22-year veteran of the Metro Police Department.
The officer was shot along I-40 East in Bellevue.
2 suspects were taken into custody just south of downtown around 2 p.m.
The suspects were taken to the Criminal Justice Center.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro police have two suspects in custody, accused of shooting a veteran police sergeant several times during a traffic stop Thursday afternoon on Interstate 40 East in Bellevue.
Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron said the officer, Sgt. Mark Chesnut, pulled over the suspects' vehicle at approximately 1:20 p.m. Thursday, at mile marker 193, one mile past the McCrory Lane exit and three miles prior to the Highway 70S/Bellevue exit.
Aaron said Sgt. Chesnut had returned to his car and was entering the vehicle's information into his computer when one of the vehicle's occupants walked up to the car and opened fire.
Sgt. Chesnut was shot several times, at least once in the upper body.
Aaron said he was seated in his car during the shooting and was wearing body armor.
Sgt. Chesnut was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where Aaron said he was alert and talkative upon arrival.
He sustained injuries to multiple internal organs and remains on life support in critical condition Thursday evening.
Chesnut underwent surgery Thursday afternoon and is scheduled for a second surgery Friday.
His wife and child were flown Thursday afternoon via helicopter to the hospital from Alabama, where they were vacationing.
Police said his wife is by his side, and Chesnut is resting comfortably.
Metro police said Chesnut was alone during the traffic stop but able to relay information to dispatch during the shooting.
An officer, who'd passed the traffic stop traveling the opposite the direction, returned to the scene after hearing of the shooting.
His description of the suspects' vehicle, along with the information Chesnut had already entered into his computer, gave police the information necessary to locate the suspects' car, a dark blue Dodge Magnum with a Georgia license plate, minutes later.
Police stopped that vehicle at Hermitage and Fairfield avenues near the JC Napier housing complex, just south of downtown Nashville, and took the two occupants into custody around 2 p.m.
"There were two persons in that vehicle," said Aaron. "Both of those individuals are now in custody."
The suspects have been identified as 25-year-old Courtney Logan and Joseph Jackson, an escaped inmate from Mississippi.
Metro police said they are unsure why the men were pulled over in the first place.
Sgt. 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.
Interstate 40 East, between mile marker 192 and 196, was shut down for several hours as the investigation continued Thursday afternoon.