NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Police in Tennessee say an armed suspect was fatally shot after fleeing a traffic stop in Nashville.
A statement from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said Jocques Scott Clemmons was struck in the back and died during surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Friday.
According to police, Clemmons had parked his vehicle outside of a public housing development and was getting out when Nashville Officer Josh Lippert drove up to talk to him about running a stop sign. Clemmons was carrying a loaded .357 pistol and charged at Lippert, then ran through the parking lot of the development.
Lippert caught up with Clemmons, and the two had a physical confrontation. Clemmons refused orders to drop his gun. Believing he was in imminent danger, Lippert fired three times at Clemmons, according to police.
Police said video from the housing development shows that Clemmons “abruptly charged at Officer Lippert, making full contact with his body.”
The police statement said Lippert was in uniform but driving an unmarked police car when he saw Clemmons, 31, run the stop sign. Lippert is white; Clemmons was African-American.
Police say they believe Clemmons was struck by two bullets. Lippert and other officers rendered first aid at the scene.
Clemmons was convicted of a cocaine felony in 2014 and received an eight-year probated sentence. As a convicted felon, it would have been a violation of both state and federal law to possess the pistol, according to the statement.
Nashville Police said that “it is not known why Clemmons reacted the way he did to Officer Lippert. The fact that he was illegally carrying a gun in public housing may have been the reason.”
Lippert has been placed on an administrative assignment while the shooting is investigated.