Police chief’s son wanted in shooting of two officers found dead following car chase

NASHVILLE, TN – The 38-year-old son of the Nashville Police chief, who was wanted in the non-fatal shooting of two La Vergne Police officers earlier in October, was reportedly found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound following a police pursuit in the greater Nashville area.

Law Enforcement Today previously reported on the originating incident that led to the manhunt of John Drake Jr., the estranged son of Metro Nashville Police Chief John Drake.

Per the prior report, La Vergne Police responded to a Dollar General store in the area on October 21st regarding a stolen vehicle investigation when they reportedly encountered the suspect in said investigation, Drake.

As the officers, identified as Ashely Boleyjack and Gregory Kern, attempted to subdue the suspect amid a struggle, officials say Drake produced a handgun and shot both of the officers before fleeing the scene.

Both of the officers are recovering after respective gunshot wounds to the shoulder and groin, with Officer Boleyjack being released from Vanderbilt University Medical Center the same day of the shooting and Officer Kern being last reported as in stable condition.

Following the shooting, Nashville Police Chief Drake addressed the matter and confirmed the suspect was his son, emphasizing that he hasn’t been in his son’s life for several years in an issued statement.

“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. He has not been a part of my life for quite some time. 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.”

Authorities eventually got a tip on Drake’s trail on the evening of October 24th after responding to another stolen vehicle report allegedly involving Drake. According to Nashville Police spokesman Dan Aaron, the suspect stole a vehicle at gunpoint at around 6:00 p.m. on October 24th after the victims sitting outside of a residential home refused to give him a ride.

Officers spotted the vehicle shortly after the report came in, leading to a vehicular pursuit that came to an end after officials say Drake crashed the stolen vehicle within the Edgehill area. Drake reportedly fled the scene of the crash and made his way to a shed behind a nearby home, where officers eventually surrounded the area. As officers were closing in on the suspect, officials say a lone gunshot was heard and Drake’s body was discovered thereafter.

Nashville Police Chief Drake issued a statement in light of his estranged son’s death, expressing regret as a father that his son didn’t simply surrender rather than choosing to go out in the manner he did.

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