A Tennessee officer trapped inside a car fleeing from a traffic stop resorted to shooting the driver after de-escalation attempts and a taser deployment failed to end the incident.

“This was a very traumatic incident with a loss of life. All are in my prayers, including the family and friends of those involved,” says Mount Juliet Police Chief James Hambrick. “To ensure our officer responded properly and per protocol, the TBI is conducting an independent investigation. The officer has been placed on routine administrative leave.”

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), a Mount Juliet officer initiated a traffic stop Wednesday night. The officer spoke with the female driver, and later swapped with a second officer to speak with the male passenger, identified as 39-year-old Eric Jermaine Allen.

As the officer attempted to have Allen exit the vehicle, Allen moved from the passenger seat to the driver seat and began to drive away. The officer leaned into the vehicle in an attempt to stop Allen.

Allen drove from the initial scene with the officer fully in the vehicle. After repeated requests to stop the car, warnings, and a taser deployment, Allen continued to drive away with the officer trapped in the car. This resulted in an officer-involved shooting, and the car came to a stop.

The involved officer and arriving backup officers began life-saving aid attempts, which were continued by responding medics, according to the Mount Juliet Police Department. However, Allen died from injuries sustained in the incident. No law enforcement officers were injured in the incident.

TBI agents are working to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews. Throughout the process, investigative findings will be shared with the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration.

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