NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Metro Nashville police officer remains in the hospital Saturday after being wounded in a shootout that left a woman dead.
“I just visited with Officer Josh Baker just to check on his condition, meet with his family,” said MNPD Chief John Drake, adding that Officer Baker’s condition was stable. “He is in good spirits.”
Police said the shooting happened just after 9:30 a.m. Friday when Officer Baker attempted to serve outstanding warrants outside the Dollar General on Brick Church Pike near the intersection of Ewing Drive. He encountered a driver, identified as Nika Holbert, who was behind the wheel of a car linked to several outstanding warrants.
“Officer Baker had knowledge that this car was registered to a person with outstanding warrants and that’s the reason Officer Baker was going after this particular vehicle,” said MNPD Spokesman Don Aaron. “That’s why he went into the parking lot. He was aware that the owner of the car had five felony drug warrants and one misdemeanor warrant.”
Metro police released dashcam video showing Baker stopping Holbert and finding a powdery substance in her bag. Officer Baker attempted to take her into custody and she refused.
After getting back into her car, Holbert produced a gun and shot Baker who returned fire, striking her twice. Holbert fled and crashed the car. She later died at a hospital.
“It was a very tragic incident yesterday,” Drake said. “My prayers go out to her [Holbert’s] family as well during this very terrible time.”
Chief Drake said upon reviewing the body camera footage, he felt Officer Baker handled the situation properly. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will look into the incident and investigative findings will be shared with the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration.
“He [Baker] appeared to do everything he could to try to deescalate the situation, including the use of taser, including trying not to use his firearm,” Drake said.
Chief Drake said a need for transparency was the driver behind the decision to release the body and dashcam footage of the incident the same day.
“I want to show that we’re an accountable police department and we want to get the accurate information out there as quickly as possible, whether it’s a shooting that’s deemed good or one that has a lot of concerns,” he said.
Drake said the area where the shooting happened has been a challenge with recent crime.
“That area has had a lot of problems here lately – concerns from violent crime, robberies, homicides, etc. so officers in that are trying to identify problem people and get them into custody or maybe divert them,” Chief Drake said. “This is a dangerous job and it’s a dangerous time not only here in Nashville but around the country. Violent crime is on the rise everywhere.”