Metro-Nashville and Mt. Juliet police held a joint press conference Tuesday where they detailed an incident where a suspect ran from police, rammed a police car, and officers shot at the suspect.
Officers charged Robert Bush, 23, who ran from Mt. Juliet police and an FBI agent early Tuesday morning after Bush rammed a police car, and officers shot at Bush’s truck.
According to public affairs manager Don Aaron with Metro-Nashville police, Bush, who was wanted for 32 outstanding warrants from Wilson, Sumner and Davidson counties and questioning in connection to a federal investigation, was spotted in a truck at the HomeTowne Studios and Suites motel at 1210 Murfreesboro Pike in Nashville at about 6:30 a.m.
Three Mt. Juliet officers – Cpl. Frank DeRiggi, Detective Cpl. Derek Thornhill and Detective Cpl. Richard Lutz – and FBI Agent Carla Rexing, who was in the passenger’s seat of one of the Mt. Juliet police cars, surrounded and blocked Bush’s truck where it was parked.
As officers got out of their cars, Bush backed the truck up, shifted to drive and rammed one of the police cars and brushed Lutz’s leg in the process. DeRiggi and Thornhill fired at the truck but did not hit Bush or an unidentified passenger in the truck.
The truck then hit a utility pole and drove around the motel where the passenger got out of the truck before Bush sped away.
An Hermitage police officer spotted the truck on Bell Road, but the truck crossed the dam before officers threw out spike strips in the Bell Road area.
The spike strips damaged the tires, but the truck continued onto Stewarts Ferry Pike and finally onto Lebanon Pike, where it crashed.
Bush was injured in the crash. He was taken into custody and taken to General Hospital to be treated for minor injuries, according to police. When Bush gets out of the hospital, he will face charges from the warrants, along with additional unknown charges from Tuesday’s incidents.
The truck’s passenger was treated as a witness and cooperated with police, Aaron said. He said no charges are expected against the man.
Lutz was taken to an emergency room, where he was evaluated and released. Lutz then returned to the scene to continue the investigation.
According to Mt. Juliet police Capt. Tyler Chandler, Lutz may require some physical therapy.
Chandler also said Mt. Juliet police started an investigation regarding the shooting, and DeRiggi and Thornhill were placed on administrative leave until the investigation is finished, according to department protocol. Metro-Nashville police’s centralized homicide unit continued to investigate Mt. Juliet officers’ gunfire at Bush’s pickup truck. The results of the investigation will be forwarded to the district attorney’s office.
Arrest warrants charged Bush with three counts of felony aggravated assault against two of the Mt. Juliet police officers and Rexing. In addition, police charged Bush with felony evading arrest, driving on a suspended driver’s license and vandalism during Tuesday’s incident. Bush was also booked on outstanding warrants that charged him with evading arrest in July, reckless driving, driving on a suspended driver’s license and failure to appear in court.
“Three of Mt. Juliet’s police officers, in a joint operation with the FBI, were involved in a dangerous situation today that no police officer ever wants to encounter,” said Mt. Juliet police Chief James Hambrick. “Our police department family is extremely grateful that our officers and the FBI agent were not severely wounded or killed. We are so thankful for the overwhelming support from our community for our injured officer, and he is receiving the care he needs. The Metro-Nashville Police Department is conducting an extensive investigation into the officer-involved shooting and all aspects that surround it. 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 this morning.”
Aaron and Chandler said the involvement of Mt. Juliet police in the joint FBI operation stemmed from a relationship with the FBI due to one of the Mt. Juliet officer’s assignment to the FBI’s Violent Crimes Task Force. The partnership normally focuses on local federal crimes such as bank robberies.
Earlier in October, Bush’s identification was found in an abandoned crashed vehicle in Watertown in which the occupants fled before police arrived. The incident caused Watertown Middle School to go on soft lockdown as students arrived to school.
An unidentified Mt. Juliet police officer was injured in an officer-involved shooting as part of a joint FBI operation in Nashville.
It is not known what type of injuries the officer sustained or the extent of the injuries, but according to a Mt. Juliet police post on Facebook, paramedics took the officer to an emergency room.
According to Metro Nashville police tweets, the joint task force responded to a motel at 1210 Murfreesboro Pike, where two Mt. Juliet police officers shot at a suspect during an attempted arrest.
Metro Nashville officers later arrested the suspects on Lebanon Pike after they used a spike strip to disable their car.
This is a developing story. Check lebanondemocrat.com for updates.
Mt. Juliet Police & Metro-Nashville Police provide a joint statement regarding the joint FBI operation that resulted in a shooting-Posted by Mt. Juliet Police Department on Tuesday, October 30, 2018