GALLATIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — Gallatin Police stopped a group of teenagers with a firearm in a stolen car. That, by itself, is hardly unusual but what is noteworthy is the professionalism illustrated by the officers on the stop and how, for the most part, the teens demonstrated a cooperative attitude.
It all went down Wednesday morning around 3:45 a.m. when a Gallatin Police officer drove upon a stolen car, a 2012 Audi Q7 stolen out of Nashville. The vehicle had its lights on in the middle of the street in the oncoming lane of traffic. Inside the vehicle were four teenagers, fast asleep.
After calling for backup and running the stolen plate out of Missouri, Officer Stephen Adams knocked on the glass. Driver K’Shawn Madkins groggily woke up and rolled down the window.
The 19-year-old initially lied and said the car belongs to a family member.
After a few minutes, Madkins told police there was a loaded handgun in the passenger door. At this point, there were still three teens in the stolen car; 19-year-old Adrian Johnson is in the back seat; sitting next to him is a 17-year-old boy, an escapee from a DCS facility in Franklin; and there’s a 16-year-old girl in the front seat who is a runaway from LaVergne.
The girl was seated just inches from the loaded pistol. Initially, the girl didn’t quickly respond to commands to keep her hands in plain sight, and on several occasions, she reached toward the floorboard.
The officer told her to show her hands, and she had an attitude saying she was trying to put on her shoes. According to police, this is where things could have escalated quickly, but the officers kept their cool as they calmly secured the weapon and got the teens out of the car.
In the end, the traffic stop ended without incident.
Longtime police veteran Lt. Billy Vahldiek said the officers are taught to be courteous while maintaining safety on the scene. He also gave the teens high marks for obeying commands and not turning the situation into something more volatile.
“The occupants of the vehicle remained calm and listened to the officer’s instructions. By listening to the officer’s instructions, that tops a lot of the bad issues that might be going on. That is textbook of how things should go. That is how interactions should be between the police and citizens,” said Lt. Vahldiek.
The two adults are currently in the Sumner County Jail charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, use of a stolen license plate and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The juveniles were remanded back into the custody of DCS.
The .40 caliber Glock handgun was not listed as stolen and the investigation into the gun is still ongoing.