Son of Nashville police chief is found dead after manhunt for shooting two officers

Nashville Police Chief John Drake speaks in Nashville, Tennessee  (Copyright 2023)
Nashville Police Chief John Drake speaks in Nashville, Tennessee (Copyright 2023)

Nashville Police Chief John Drake said he was “heartbroken and saddened” following the news of his estranged son’s death after a manhunt for allegedly shooting two police officers from a nearby city.

John C Drake Jr, 38, was accused of shooting two La Vergne police officers on 21 October. He was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s (TBI) Most Wanted List as a manhunt for the police chief’s son was underway. He was wanted for two counts of attempted murder.

The search for Drake Jr came to an unexpected conclusion late Tuesday, when the TBI announced he was found dead “from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.” The agency will lead the investigation into his death and a full autopsy will be performed, TBI wrote.

“I am grateful to the members of law enforcement, including many officers from this department, who worked diligently since Saturday to locate my son and bring him into custody,” Chief John Drake said in a statement.

“It was my prayer that no harm would come to him or anyone else. I am heartbroken and saddened by the outcome,” he added. I appreciate the condolences and kind words of support as my family and I privately mourn our loss.”

The two officers allegedly struck by Drake Jr have been treated and are at home, the La Vergne Police Chief said on Tuesday.

Drake Jr had reportedly fled the scene of the shooting in a stolen car. A manhunt ensued, including a reward of $2,500 for information leading to his arrest.

Chief Drake said over the weekend that he was “shocked and deeply saddened to learn that my estranged son…is the suspect in this afternoon’s shooting.” He added that the pair had maintained minimal contact over the years.