A man armed with two butcher knives and wanted for murder in another jurisdiction charged a police officer in Nashville, Tennesse during a Saturday traffic stop before being fatally shot, bodycam footage shows.
Four-year-veteran Officer Christopher Royle was patrolling around midnight when he ran the plates of a Mercedes sedan and noticed the plates were registered to another vehicle, police spokesman Dan Aaron said at a press conference Saturday.
Royle conducted a vehicle stop to inquire about the license plate issue, the spokesman told reporters. The driver of the vehicle complied and pulled over, according to police.
“The driver presented no issues at any time,” the spokesman said. “The passenger, however, immediately got out of the Mercedes with two large butcher knives, one in each hand, and began running around erratically.”
Video footage shows the passenger, later identified by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations as Marvin Veiga, exited the car before Royle can be heard screaming “drop the knife.”
The driver of the Mercedes can also be heard shouting “what are you doing?” to Veiga.
Royle backed up as Veiga then opened the driver’s door to the police vehicle while Royle shouts “Get out of the car, drop the knife. Drop the knife.”
Royle can be heard pleading with Veiga to drop his weapons, telling him “I don’t want to shoot you” as Veiga continues to run around with the knives.
Royle is seen retreating from the situation but is charged by Veiga. Royle eventually fires what appeared to be three shots, although police have not yet confirmed precisely how many shots were fired.
“I did not want to have to do that” Royle said seconds later.
Veiga was transferred to Vanderbilt Medical Center where he died shortly after, according to the spokesman. (RELATED: ‘He’s My Dad’: Horrified 8-Year-Old Watches As Step-Dad Is Fatally Shot By Police After Pulling Gun)
“When I got the call this morning, I had mixed emotions, especially with all that’s going on around the nation and in this city … and so, no officer wants to deal with this type of situation as Officer Royle encountered tonight,” Chief of Police John Drake said.
“He did everything he could, I felt. He retreated, he asked the individual to drop the weapon several times [and] he continued charging at him and he was left with no choice.”
“That’s a lethal situation,” Drake said. “He de-escalated by retreating, he moved backwards, again ordering the individual to drop the weapon, and those situations are lethal. You can’t use a less lethal [method] when someone is attacking you with a knife.”
Royle has been placed on an administrative assignment as an investigation by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Davidson County District Attorney’s Office investigates the incident, according to the spokesman.
Veiga was wanted in connection with a Massachusetts murder that took place in October.
“Veiga has an extensive and violent criminal history in Massachusetts which includes an armed confrontation with the Boston Police Department and convictions” for having firearms, resisting arrest and other charges, according to Massachusetts State Police.
Veiga was considered “armed and dangerous” by Massachusetts police.