SMYRNA, Tenn. (WKRN) — Three alleged carjacking suspects are behind bars after Smyrna police say they carjacked two victims within 15 minutes of each other.
It all went down on November 30 starting around 11:20 am.
That’s when the Smyrna Police Department says three men brandishing weapons carjacked a red 2012 Infiniti G37 from a man on Hazelwood Drive.
Thirteen minutes later, the same trio reportedly went to the 1800 block of Almaville Road and stole a silver 2019 Infiniti QX50 from a person at gunpoint.
The carjacking suspects reportedly fled on I-840 West.
Once in Williamson County, a sheriff helicopter got behind the red Infiniti and tracked it to Pinewood Road. That’s where Sergeant Steve Mitchell prepared to throw out the spike strips to slow the carjackers down.
As the Infiniti approached Mitchell’s position, the driver saw the lawman and attempted to cut through the median to get in the eastbound lane.
Sgt. Mitchell ran across the interstate as the car approached. He pulled his gun and chased the Infiniti that went up a dirt berm and got stuck.
As Mitchell aimed his weapon on the driver’s side door, the passenger took off on foot.
Mitchell screamed at the 21-year-old driver, identified as Christian Cooke.
“Stop! Put the car in park now!”
Mitchell pulled the driver to the ground and while cuffing him, pointed his weapon at the berm where the other suspect, possibly armed, could have been lurking.
During the arrest, Christian Cooke told Sgt. Mitchell this: “They put a gun to my head, sir.”
Sgt. Mitchell told arriving officers to protect themselves against the passenger who reportedly ran out of his shoes down under the interstate.
Soon, multiple deputies, clutching AR15’s and handguns scoured the underside of I-840.
“He’s barefoot and on these rocks,” Mitchell told the other officers after the passenger ran from the car losing his shoes.
After a few minutes, it was clear the second suspect was no longer on the scene.
“Mitchell was on scene 3 to 4 minutes by himself before he had back up, so it was a very stressful situation for him,” Chief Deputy Mark Elrod said. “I think he knew it was an armed carjacking so there was a good possibility the suspects were armed.”
“It definitely makes the hair on the back of your necks stand up,” Chief Deputy Elrod continued. “It’s one of those things we train for, but until you experience it, you never know. It is always the threat of the unknown.”
Williamson County investigators told News 2 officers did recover two handguns inside the vehicle.
The car, the suspect and the weapons were turned over to Smyrna Police.
The suspects in the other vehicle were arrested after their car ran out of gas near mile marker 119 westbound on I-40.
Both subjects fled on foot and were apprehended by THP Jackson district troopers and officers with the 24th DTF.
“To be honest we would not have been able to apprehend either of these vehicles without aerial support. The dense traffic conditions on I-40 and the extremely reckless driving displayed by the driver of the Infiniti would have most likely resulted in THP supervisors canceling or shutting down the attempt to apprehend. It was a true team effort by all agencies working together,” said Lt. Bill Miller with THP.