NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — On Saturday, 23-year-old Jacob Griffin’s mother called 911 to tell dispatchers her son was homeless, armed and dangerous.
“He is schizophrenic and for about the last hour he has been texting me messages that he plans to kill me and other people,” his mother can be heard telling dispatchers. “I really don’t want the police to kill him, but I don’t want him to kill anyone else either!”
Two Metro police officers responded to a wooded area near Concord Road and Nolensville Pike behind the Goodwill building where Griffin’s mother says he previously worked.
The officers reportedly found him with a pistol that he wouldn’t surrender. After deploying a taser that Metro Police Spokesperson Don Aaron said was “ineffective,” the officers called for backup.
Nash Orten lives up the street from where it all happened and watched as negotiators and a SWAT team arrived on scene. He said the road to get into his neighborhood was blocked off and he had to take an alternate route home.
“We heard a few gunshot noises. I wasn’t sure if it was a real gun or something non-lethal, but we heard a couple shots fired and that was pretty much it,” Orten said.
Other neighbors told News 2 off-camera once they heard the gunshots, they were scared to leave their homes.
Metro police bodycam video shows what lead up to shots being fired. Body camera footage shows police talking to Griffin for hours, asking him to put his pistol down.
“The first step in this is all up to you and that’s just walk out here without that pistol,” officers were heard saying in the video. “If you want us to leave, then you have to come out and talk to the counselor and then we all get out of here.”
But Griffin would not put the weapon down. Then he fired a shot around 7:20 p.m. The bullet did not hit anyone.
As officers created a plan to deploy hard foam rounds and a K-9, Griffin fired his weapon again and Metro officers fired back, striking and killing him.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the Metro Nashville Police Department are currently conducting a use of force investigation.