TBI investigating death of Nashville man who died in police custody

Crime Tracker

(Credit: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the cause of death of a Nashville man who had died in police custody after an incident that occurred on Thursday night on the 800 block of West Sharpe Avenue in East Nashville.

Metro Police identified the man as 43-year-old Larry Eugene Boyd. Officers responded just after 11:30 p.m. to an open 911 call at a home. Metro Police said responding Officer Kristopher Sutton knocked and made announcements to open the door repeatedly before gaining entry after hearing yelling, what sounded like a physical altercation inside, and seeing a man with a gun through a window.

Metro Police said Officer Sutton saw Boyd armed with a pistol standing over a 37-year-old woman whom he was visiting. Sutton reportedly shouted for Boyd to drop his weapon. During this, the woman managed to break free and run out the door along with two others who had been hiding in a bedroom.

Officer Sutton reportedly continued to order Boyd to drop his gun. Metro Police said Boyd appeared to be under the influence “of an as of yet undetermined substance” and came toward Officer Sutton, dropping his pistol near the front door.

As Officer Sutton tried to take Boyd into custody, he reportedly physically resisted and the two men struggled down the front porch stairs into the yard where Officers Edward Holden and Josh Whitworth joined Sutton in struggling to bring Boyd into custody. Metro Police reports that a taser was used in two five-second bursts to bring the six feet tall, 290-pound Boyd under control.

After being handcuffed, Metro Police officers reportedly put Boyd into a seated position and called for an ambulance to evaluate him. Officers reportedly kept him sitting upright while waiting for paramedics. Nashville Fire Department reportedly gave Boyd medication, and transported him to Nashville General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“After reviewing body camera footage, the officers worked to de-escalate this interaction,” said MNPD Chief John Drake, “This was a real-life call with officers making decisions in the moment in their efforts to protect victims and bring a suspect into custody as safely as possible.”

The Community Oversight Board was notified of Boyd’s death overnight and responded to the scene.  The Board also reviewed officers’ body camera footage this afternoon.

Officer Sutton, an MNPD officer for 1 year, Officer Whitworth, an MNPD officer for 3 years, and Officer Holden, an MNPD officer for 4 years, all remain on active duty at the time this story was written. The Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct toxicology testing on Boyd as part of the autopsy process.

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.

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