A Tennessee police officer shot dead a man who attacked the officer with knives during a traffic stop, authorities said.
Department spokesman Don Aaron told a news conference that Christopher Royer, a metropolitan police officer in Nashville, was assigned an administrative assignment after he shot the man on Nashville Road.
Aaron said the man died in hospital.
It was not immediately recognized.
Aaron said Royer was on patrol in his police car when he was handling a license plate for a white Mercedes sedan, but that the plate was actually registered to a green 1998 Chevrolet.
Aaron said that after the officer stopped the Mercedes, the passenger ran out of the car, holding a knife in each hand.
A passenger started running and entered briefly through the driver’s side door in a Royer police car, police body camera footage published at the press conference showed.
Aaron said the man then ran towards Royer, who retreated 25 yards from his police car. In the video, Royer could be heard asking for backup, asking the passenger to drop the knives and saying, “I don’t want to shoot you.”
The video showed that the man continued running towards Royer, who shot three times. The man fell on the street.
“Dude, what are you doing, man, come on,” said Royer. “I didn’t want to do that.”
Police Chief John Drake said five officers provided assistance to the man. Drake said that Royer backed down and asked the man to drop the knife several times in an effort to calm the situation.
“He kept bringing accusations against him, and he had no other choice,” Drake said.
Drake said officers regularly run license cards to determine if vehicles are stolen. Drake said that Nashville police obtained stun guns, but it appears that Royer did not try to use them, according to the video.
“This is a fatal situation,” said Drake, describing the passenger’s behavior as “strange.”
The Tennessee State Bureau of Investigation will investigate the shooting, and the Police Department will also review it. The local attorney general will decide whether to pursue the charges after the Iraqi bank finishes the investigation.
Royer has been working in the police department for four years.