NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro police have released body camera footage of a deadly officer-involved shooting in South Nashville.
Don Aaron, with Metro Police, released a media briefing including portions of body camera footage produced by MNPD on Sunday morning.
The incident happened around 7:30 p.m. in the woods behind the South Nashville Goodwill store on Nolensville Pike.
Officers went to that location earlier in the day after 23-year-old Jacob Griffin’s mother called 911 around 2:30 p.m. to inform them her son was homeless, armed and dangerous.
Griffin’s mother can be heard on the dispatch call stating that her son was schizophrenic and sent her text messages threatening to kill her and other people. She told the dispatch operator she felt this needed to be addressed. She then told communications personnel the wooded area her son was residing in on Nolensville Pike.
Griffin’s mother informed dispatch operators her son had a gun and sent her photos of a full magazine of bullets that morning. She said, “He is armed and I personally would consider him dangerous but he has never actually been violent. I really don’t want the police to kill him… but I really don’t want him to kill anyone else either,” said Griffin.
Griffin then told the dispatch operator her son used to work at the Goodwill store and over the course of the last few months… he reportedly threatened the store manager of the Goodwill. Griffin also stated her son had threatened to enter the store with a weapon and kill everyone he could find.
Griffin clarified her son had not mentioned killing people in Goodwill on Saturday but had mentioned “mass murder today” in texts to her.
Griffin said her son was fired from the Goodwill and claimed her son was “very angry” at them.
South Precinct Officers found Griffin at his campsite in the wooded area around 3:30 p.m. He told officers he had a gun but refused to surrender it. One of the officers deployed a taser which was ineffective. Don Aaron made note that while body cameras are being deployed department-wide, most South Precinct officers do not have them. The initial interaction was not recorded.
Aaron said around 4:10 p.m., police department negotiators and SWAT were requested to the scene. Around 5:15 p.m., Mobile Crisis staff from the Mental Health Co-Op arrived and signed emergency committal papers for Griffin.
SWAT officers are equipped with body-worn cameras and Metro police released portions of their footage from the scene.
In the video, officers can be heard pleading with Griffin to put the weapon down and Griffin told officers to repeatedly ‘get off his property’. Officers then told Griffin if he wanted them to leave he had to come out and talk to their counselor.
Aaron said the posture of negotiations changed at 7:20 p.m. when Griffin fired a shot from his pistol. Officers then informed Jacob that he should not pick up the gun again and asked him to walk to them.
Metro police said at about 7:30 p.m. officers put a plan into action to take Griffin into custody using distraction devices, direct-impact hard foam rounds and a police K-9 Team.
Don Aaron said in the midst of trying to put this plan into action, Griffin fired another shot from his gun. A SWAT officer and 15-year police department veteran then fired at Griffin.
Griffin died shortly after arriving at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. No officers were hurt. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Metro police are investigating the incident.
In the coming days, Don Aaron said the TBI and the Davidson County’s District Attorney’s office will continue to investigate this incident. By policy, the MNPD will also be conducting an administrative review of the tactics and interaction.
The Community Oversight Board tweeted a statement regarding the shooting shortly after 1 p.m. The statement expressed the board’s disappointment for not having the opportunity “to view the body worn camera footage before its release to the public as had been previously agreed upon.”
Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee also released the following statement regarding the shooting.
“Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee would like to thank the Metro Police Department for responding quickly and ensuring the safety of customers, donors and employees at our Nolensville Road store on Saturday. Thanks to MNPD, we were able to safely evacuate the store. Safety is our number-one priority at Goodwill. Our thoughts are with all involved in yesterday’s events.“
No other information was immediately released.