At the request of 20th District Attorney General Glenn Funk, TBI special agents continue to investigate the circumstances leading to the shooting death of a man during an interaction with law enforcement officers on Interstate 65 on Thursday afternoon.
Preliminary information indicates the incident began at approximately 2:00 Thursday afternoon, when a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper saw a man, identified as 37-year-old Landon Eastep, on the shoulder of Interstate 65 northbound at mile marker 76. The trooper stopped to talk with him, and as the exchange escalated, Eastep produced a box cutter. The trooper attempted to negotiate with Eastep, and soon, an off-duty Mount Juliet Police Department officer also stopped, along with back-up officers from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department and additional THP troopers. The negotiations with Eastep, aimed at convincing him to surrender, continued for approximately 30 minutes. At one point, the man appears to adjust his stance and reach for what was later identified as a metal cylindrical object at his waist. At least nine of the law enforcement officers fired upon Eastep, who died at the scene. No law enforcement officers were hurt in the incident.
TBI agents are working to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigative findings will be shared with the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration. The TBI acts solely as fact-finders in its cases and does not determine whether the actions of an officer were justified in these types of matters. That decision rests with the District Attorney General requesting TBI’s involvement.
The TBI does not identify the officers involved in these types of incidents and instead, refers questions of that nature to the respective department to answer as it sees fit.
Any available updates on this investigation will be posted online at TBINewsroom.com.