La Vergne, TN – A gunman with three young children in his vehicle opened fire on police during a multi-county pursuit on July 8, forcing an officer to dive out of his patrol vehicle to avoid being struck by gunfire (video below).
Police had no idea that the suspect had his three children – ages three, two, and nine months – in the back seat at the time of the chase, WTVF reported.
The incident began in Smyrna, when 21-year-old Darrien Williams fired a gun inside his apartment during a domestic dispute just after 11 a.m., according to The Tennessean.
The bullet traveled through the floor and into the apartment below his, police said.
Williams took off from the scene in a vehicle, leading Smyrna police on a chase towards La Vergne.
He also refused to stop for La Vergne officers, and the pursuit continued through the southeastern and eastern sections of Davidson County.
Williams crossed into oncoming traffic on multiple occasions during the chase, WTVF reported.
As the suspect closed in on the intersection of Castlegate Drive and Smith Springs Road, La Vergne Police Lieutenant Chris Goins managed to force him off of the road and into some nearby shrubbery using his patrol vehicle.
The impact spun the suspect’s vehicle 180 degrees, and it came to rest positioned nose-to-nose with the patrol SUV, dashcam footage showed.
Williams immediately opened fire at Lt. Goins through his windshield, but the lieutenant avoided being hit by diving headfirst out his driver’s side door.
He then made his way around the rear portion of the patrol SUV, and returned fire as Williams took off on foot.
Investigators then realized that he abandoned his three children, who were still inside the car.
The children were uninjured during the chase, the collision, and the subsequent shootout, WTVF reported.
Metro Nashville SWAT and K9 units joined up with La Vergne police and apprehended Williams at a residence on Alicia Lane at approximately 2 p.m., according to The Tennessean.
He has been charged with felony evading arrest, three counts of child endangerment, and attempted murder of a police officer, and is also facing additional charges out of Rutherford County, WTVF reported.
You can watch dashcam footage of Lt. Goins’ encounter with Williams in the video below: