Three Mt. Juliet officers were involved in a shooting at a Nashville hotel Tuesday morning during a joint FBI operation.
Around 6:30 a.m. Oct. 30, three Mt. Juliet officers and an FBI agent were attempting to bring Robert P. Bush, 23, into custody, who was wanted on more than 32 outstanding warrants out of Davidson, Sumner and Wilson counties. He was also wanted for questioning into a federal investigation.
According to Metro-Nashville Police, three law enforcement vehicles attempted to block in the pickup truck Bush was in at the HomeTowne Suites parking lot at 1210 Murfreesboro Pike. The Mt. Juliet officers involved were Corporal Detectives Frank DeRiggi, Derek Thornhill and Richard Lutz. FBI Agent Carla Rexing was the fourth law enforcement official involved.
As they exited their vehicles, Bush attempted to flee and rammed the truck into the police vehicles and grazing one Mt. Juliet officer. That officer, later identified as Lutz, was treated and quickly released from a local emergency room, even returning to the crime scene to continue assisting in the investigation.
As Bush drove into the police vehicles, DeRiggi and Thornhill opened fire at the truck. The truck drove around to the rear of the building and a passenger got out. Metro PD said the passenger claimed to be asleep at the time of the incident, but he has been cooperating with police.
A description of the truck was sent out by police and an officer at the Hermitage precinct spotted the vehicle near Percy Priest Dam. Spike strips were deployed on Bell Road and were successful at deflating the truck’s tires. Bush continued down Stewarts Ferry Pike to Lebanon Pike before the truck became unstable.
No one was hit by law enforcement gunfire, according to Metro PD, but Bush received a minor injury when the truck crashed on Lebanon Pike. After being treated and discharged from General Hospital, Bush was going to be facing the multiple outstanding warrants, which are primarily driving offences, in addition to new charges from Tuesday’s incident.
Before being moved to a detention facility, Metro PD said Bush would be taken to the Homicide/Cold Case Unit to be interviewed.
“Our police department family is extremely grateful that our officers and the FBI Agent were not severely wounded or killed,” said MJ Police Chief James Hambrick. “We are so thankful for the overwhelming support from our community for our injured officer, and he is receiving the care he needs.”
The Mt. Juliet officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, as is the case any time shots are fired.
“We just want to ensure everything was done appropriately, and once we receive confirmation that it’s appropriate they will be placed back on duty,” said Chandler.
“We’re thankful for Metro Nashville Police Department,” said Chandler. “They immediately responded to help us when our officers called for help and they immediately got Mr. Bush into custody when he fled the scene.”
Metro PD’s centralized Homicide Unit is investigating the officers’ gunfire at Bush’s pickup truck. The results of that investigation will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office.
“The Metro-Nashville Police Department is conducting an extensive investigation into the officer-involved shooting and all aspects that surround it,” said Hambrick. “I’m very confident in their abilities and resources. A dangerous fugitive is now in custody and has been charged for his felony assault on three of the four law enforcement officers who attempted to take him into custody early [Tuesday] morning.”
*This story has been updated to include officer names and Chief Hambrick’s statement.