Authorities in Tennessee are searching for the son of Nashville’s police chief as a suspect in the Saturday shooting of two suburban police officers.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a statewide blue alert late Saturday in an effort to locate the suspect, John Drake Jr., warning that the 38-year-old, who is now wanted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, should be considered “armed and very dangerous.” The suspect was added to the agency’s “most wanted” list.
Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake confirmed the suspect is his son.
“I am shocked and deeply saddened to learn that my estranged son, with whom I have had very minimal contact over many years, is the suspect in this afternoon’s shooting of the two La Vergne police officers,” Chief Drake said Saturday, adding his thoughts are with the wounded officers.
“Despite my efforts and guidance in the early and teenage years, my son, John Drake Jr., now 38-years-old, resorted to years of criminal activity and is a convicted felon,” the chief said.
“He has not been a part of my life for quite some time.”
Police said the shooting happened during an altercation Saturday night in La Vergne, a suburb of Nashville.
“Our officers were investigating a stolen vehicle. During that investigation, they made contact with a subject,” La Vergne Police Chief Christopher Moews said at a Saturday press conference. “They struggled with that subject, and during that struggle, the suspect produced a handgun and fired shots.”
Officer Ashely Boleyjack and Officer Gregory Kern were injured in the shooting, city of La Vergne spokesperson Anne Smith said Monday. They were taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Boleyjack was released on Saturday while “Officer Kern was kept overnight for observation and is in stable condition,” said Smith.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which issues blue alerts when there’s “an imminent threat to public safety and law enforcement personnel,” described the suspect as 5 feet, 11 inches tall, weighing 195 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.
The agency said he was last seen in La Vergne around 2:30 p.m. Saturday “in the area of Stones River Road near Lake Forest Drive, wearing a black t-shirt with a hockey mask on it with red accents, and gray sweatpants.”
The city had a shelter in place order in effect for most of Saturday night. The city said it was continuing search efforts, but lifted the order shortly after midnight, citing no immediate threat to the public.
A reward of $2,500 has been offered for information leading to Drake Jr.’s arrest.
CNN’s Lauren Mascarenhas, Melissa Alonso, and Sarah Dewberry contributed to this report.