Alleged gunman, armed with gun and hatchet, killed after firing on officer
The suspect behind yet another movie theater shooting was declared dead after opening fire on a police officer early Wednesday afternoon in a Nashville, Tennessee, suburb.
Don Aaron, a public information officer, said the gunman shot at a police office, prompting him to return fire. A SWAT team moved in and exchanged fire. Ultimately, he said, the suspect exited out the back door of the theater where he was confronted by more police officers who shot and killed him.
“The actions of that first officer who went in the theater to engage this individual may well have saved multiple individuals inside that theater,” Aaron said during a presser on site.
The suspect, a 51-year-old local man, was wearing a surgical mask and doused two women’s faces with pepper spray, authorities said.
“The gunman apparently unleashed this pepper spray throughout the theater,” Aaron said. “As the SWAT team entered that theater, it was very thick with chemical spray, with irritant. Gas masks were brought in to those officers as they attempted to get this person into custody.”
Brian Hass, a Nashville Fire Department spokesman, confirmed that two people were injured with pepper spray and one person was injured by the hatchet. The injuries were minor and no one was hospitalized.
“This could have been a lot worse” Hass said.
Aaron explained that the first two officers were able to respond quickly because they were working a crash on on Bell Road just beyond the cinema’s property. Witnesses from the theater ran to the cops to report the armed man inside.
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