Landon Eastep, 37, was agitated and was carrying the blade in his left hand, spokesperson for the Metro Nashville Police Department and Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) said. The deadly encounter shut down traffic on a normally bustling travel corridor in Tennessee.
The encounter began shortly before 2 p.m. local time, when a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper first spotted Eastep on the shoulder of the interstate. Officers tried for about a half-hour to deescalate the situation.
“The trooper attempted to negotiate with Eastep, and soon, an off-duty Mount Juliet Police Department officer also stopped, along with back-up officers from the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department” and more Highway Patrol troopers, the statement added.
Police footage shows the man standing in the roadway as the officers, who have their guns pointed, shout to him: “Landon … let me help you out. You will not end up in jail … Don’t do it … Whatever you’re worried about, we can fix it. Let us get you some help though.”
One of the officers can be heard asking Eastep to drop the knife. As he walks closer to the officers, one can be heard saying, “Just drop the knife, brother. Let’s help you out … Please brother.”