The police chief in Nashville has launched a manhunt for his own son who is suspected of shooting two officers.
Officers in La Vergne, a city about 20 miles (32 kilometres) south-east of Nashville, Tennessee, were investigating a stolen vehicle outside Dollar Store on Saturday afternoon when they encountered the suspect, who pulled a handgun and shot them, said Christopher Moews, the police chief of LaVergne.
Police identified the suspect as John C. Drake Jr, 38, who is the son of John Drake, the Metro Nashville Police department chief.
One of the officers was shot twice, in the groin and right forearm, while the other officer was hit in the rear left shoulder. Both were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. One of the officers was released from the hospital on Saturday night.
The other officer was kept overnight for observation and was in a stable condition, said Anne Smith, a spokesman for the city of La Vergne.
The police chief issued a statement on Saturday confirming his son was the suspect in the shooting.
‘He needs to be found and held accountable’
Drake said they were estranged and over many years he has had only minimal contact with his son. The younger Mr Drake is a convicted felon who “resorted to years of criminal activity”, he said.
“He now needs to be found and held accountable for his actions today. I hope that anyone who sees him or has information about him will contact law enforcement immediately,” Mr Drake said in the statement.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said in a social media post that a statewide alert had been issued for Mr Drake, who was wanted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Smith said about a dozen law enforcement agencies are involved in the search.
After the shooting, the La Vergne police issued a shelter-in-place order for residents in the city. The shelter order was later lifted while the search for Drake continued, the department said.
Freddie O’Connell, the mayor, issued a statement in support of the police chief.
“My heart goes out to chief Drake, his family, and the two wounded LaVergne police officers. I know that despite our best efforts — including in their early years — we can’t be responsible for the choices of family members,” Mr O’Connell said. “I support chief Drake and stand by him at this difficult time. ”