‘I forgive him’: La Vergne officer recalls being shot at during multi-county pursuit

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LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The La Vergne police officer shot at during a multi-county pursuit earlier this month says he forgives the gunman.

Dramatic dash cam video shows the chase that began in Smyrna, went through La Vergne and ended in Nashville.

During the pursuit, Lt. Chris Goins with the La Vergne Police Department was able to force the suspect’s vehicle into a lawn, putting an end to the chase.

“We approached Castlegate Drive, a residential area. He made a right turn there really slow. I saw an open intersection there and I took the shot and just drove right into his passenger side car and pushed him into a yard,” Goins recalled.

“Almost as soon as we came to a stop, I started taking fire through the windshield. It was almost instant.”

The officer described hearing what sounded like more than ten gunshots. The windshield of his police cruiser was shattered.

“As soon as I went head-first and dove out of the car, another round hit the driver’s side window which apparently came pretty close to me,” he explained. “As I looked around the corner, I could see him running and he was shooting still.”

Lt. Goins was not hit.

MORE: Dramatic dashcam footage shows terrifying moments of chase, officer-involved shooting

The suspect was identified as 21-year-old Darrien Williams. Police said he had his three children in the vehicle with him during the chase and shooting.

“Emotionally, I wasn’t ready for that,” Lt. Goins said. “I’m a daddy first. I’m a cop second. I’m a father first and everybody else’s kids, I treat like my own.”

Officers said they were pursuing Williams following a possible domestic shooting in Smyrna.

Goins, a 22-year veteran of the La Vergne Police Department said he forgives Williams.

“No hard feelings against the suspect, I forgive him,” the officer told News 2. “We’re both lucky that we didn’t get killed, but at the end of the day, good won because he’s in jail and I’m here talking to you guys.”

Williams was charged with attempted murder. He is expected in court next week.

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