The estranged son of Nashville’s top cop, who was wanted for gunning down two police officers in a Dollar General parking lot, was found dead from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
John Drake Jr. had been on the run since Saturday when he allegedly shot and wounded La Vergne police officers Ashely Boleyjack and Gregory Kern outside the discount store on River Road. They were responding at the time to reports of a stolen vehicle and almost immediately engaged in a struggle with Drake, according to Metro Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron.
Both officers were hospitalized at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and have since been released.
Drake fled the scene, sparking a shelter-in-place order across La Vergne and a TBI Blue Alert issued statewide. The agency also put him on its most wanted list with a reward of up to $2,500 for information leading to his arrest.
Authorities began to close in on Drake Tuesday evening after he allegedly stole a car from a couple living at a home on Antioch Pike. He approached them around 6 p.m. and asked for ride, but when they refused he pulled out a gun and demanded the gold Chrysler 200 in the driveway, Aaron said.
The vehicle was spotted a short time later near the intersection of Thompson Lane and Patricia Drive, triggering a chase, WKRN reported. Drake eventually crashed the Chrysler into a parked car, got out of the vehicle and then fled, taking cover in a shed behind a home in the 1400 block of 15th Avenue South, according to investigators.
As officers approached, a gunshot cut through the air, according to TBI. They later found Drake dead from a gunshot wound. A full autopsy is pending.
His father, Nashville Police Chief John Drake, in a statement over the weekend acknowledged his son as a suspect in the shooting, but noted that they had not spoken in years.
“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,” Chief Drake said in a statement. “He has not been a part of my life for quite some time. He now needs to be found and held accountable for his actions today.”
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