The Nashville police chief’s son, who was wanted in the shooting of two officers, was found dead Tuesday night after leading police on a car chase, authorities said.
John Drake Jr., 38, was being sought on two counts of attempted first-degree murder after a shooting that injured the police officers during a struggle Saturday night in La Vergne, a suburb of Nashville.
Drake resurfaced Tuesday, when he stole a car from a couple at gunpoint after they wouldn’t give him a ride, Metropolitan Nashville Police Department spokesperson Don Aaron said.
When officers spotted him in the stolen car, Drake led them on a pursuit, Aaron said. The car crashed and Drake got out and fled into a shed behind a home near downtown Nashville, Aaron added.
“While the officers were surrounding the residence to contain the shed, a gunshot was heard and it appears that he has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Aaron said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation will investigate Drake’s death at the request of Nashville District Attorney General Glenn Funk, authorities said.
“The La Vergne community and our heroic officers can rest easy tonight knowing that the manhunt for John Drake, Jr. is over,” La Vergne Police Chief Christopher Moews said in a statement Tuesday night.
Drake had been on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s “most wanted” list, with authorities warning he should be considered “armed and very dangerous.”
Saturday’s shooting, which prompted shelter-in-place orders in La Vergne, happened while the two officers were investigating a stolen vehicle, police said.
“During that investigation, they made contact with a subject,” Moews said at a Saturday news conference. “They struggled with that subject, and during that struggle, the suspect produced a handgun and fired shots.”
Officers Ashely Boleyjack and Gregory Kern were injured in the shooting and taken to a hospital. Both had been released from the hospital and were recovering at home as of Tuesday morning, according to Moews.
Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake confirmed Saturday that the suspect was his son, describing him as estranged. “Despite my efforts and guidance in the early and teenage years, my son, John Drake Jr., now 38-years-old, resorted to years of criminal activity and is a convicted felon,” the chief said at the time.
The chief said Wednesday he was grateful to law enforcement for finding his son, and that he and the family would be mourning privately.
“It was my prayer that no harm would come to him or anyone else,” the chief said in a statement posted on X by the Nashville police department Wednesday. “I am heartbroken and saddened by the outcome.”