The two officers were called to a Dollar General in La Vergne, about 20 miles southeast of Nashville, shortly before 2:30 p.m. on Saturday to investigate a stolen vehicle picked up by the city’s license plate reader software.
According to authorities, the officers ended up in a struggle with an individual, who pulled out a handgun and fired at the officers.
The suspected shooter is Metro Nashville Police Department Chief John Drake’s estranged son, 38-year-old John C. Drake, Jr.
Officials said one of the officers, who has been with the LVPD for nearly three years, suffered a gunshot wound to the rear left shoulder while the other, who has been with the LVPD for about 18 months, was shot in the right groin and right forearm.
The injured officers were identified as Officer Ashely Boleyjack and Officer Gregory Kern. Boleyjack was released from the hospital Saturday while Kern was kept overnight for observation and is in stable condition, La Vergne officials said Sunday.
In a statement, Chief Drake said he was”shocked and deeply saddened to learn” his son, “with whom I have had very minimal contact over many years” is the suspect in Saturday’s shooting.
“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 statement continued. “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.”
A “shelter in place” order has been lifted for residents of the Lake Forest subdivision but the community is asked to remain vigilant as search efforts continue.
Drake was reportedly last seen heading north from the Dollar General, wearing a hat, a black T-shirt with a white hockey mask emblem on the front and red lettering, and gray pants. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighs 195 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. Authorities released images of Drake, seen below.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), which is investigating the shooting, issued a Blue Alert late Saturday night for John Drake Jr., who is wanted for two counts of attempted first-degree murder. The agency said he should be considered “armed and extremely dangerous.”
A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information leading to his arrest.
If you see anyone matching the suspect’s description, you are asked to call 911. If you have any information about Saturday’s shooting or John Drake Jr.’s whereabouts, you are asked to call the LVPD at 615-793-7744 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.