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CHEATHAM COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Cheatham County Grand Jury cleared three deputies of any wrongdoing after they shot an off-duty Metro-Nashville firefighter.
The jury says the officers acted with justifiable force after Charles Holland, 44, moved aggressively toward the officers with a loaded rifle.
“I don’t know if any police officer who wants to use deadly force or take a life,” said Sheriff Mike Breedlove. “It was hard on them emotionally.”
The deputies pulled into Holland’s driveway while answering a domestic road rage call in late January. A suspect, Doug Barr, was reportedly trying to run his ex-girlfriend off the road.
The woman pulled into a driveway on Sams Creek Road, a driveway that belonged to off-duty firefighter Charles Holland.
The Cheatham County Sheriff’s Office has since released dash cam video of the Jan. 30 encounter.
It shows Deputy Thomas Royal assisting a frightened woman, identified as Karla Kellam, who deputies say has been terrified in the domestic incident.
As more deputies arrive, investigators spot a man crouching behind a car in the driveway.
According to the sheriff, the deputies see the man is carrying a .243 semi-automatic rifle.
He’s later identified as Holland and found to be with two guns.
“Deputy Royal screams at the guy, ‘Show your hands!’” Sheriff Breedlove explained.
With blue lights clearly illuminated, the deputies order Holland to show his hands. When he continues to move in what deputies consider an aggressive manner, all three officers open fire.
Holland is reportedly hit multiple times in the leg and abdomen.
Sheriff Breedlove says Holland was rushed to the hospital, but before leaving the scene, emergency responders talked to him.
“We do know he was under the influence. Maybe in his mind he was protecting those girls in the rolling domestic assault, but there is law enforcement there, he knows the police are there, and any time you come out with a long gun, any weapon, police will respond,” he explained to News 2.
The deputies have since been cleared of wrongdoing. The sheriff said one of them has since retired from the force.
Holland was not charged, either, and remains on medical leave from the Nashville Fire Department.
His attorney released the following statement to News 2 on Wednesday:
“At all times during this incident, Mr. Holland was acting to protect the women who were being aggressively pursued and attacked by Doug Barr. Despite reports of Mr. Holland consuming alcoholic beverages in his own home, Mr. Holland was not in any way impaired or intoxicated during these events; instead he deliberately and with clarity of mind chose to intervene in the dangerous domestic violence situation unfolding in front of his home. At no point did Mr. Holland threaten or act aggressively towards any police officer.”Holland is also a non-faculty assistant wrestling coach at the Harpeth Middle and Harpeth High schools. He’s coached there since 2009.