NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report has cleared an officer of wrongdoing in the shooting death of a man who pulled out a pellet gun that the officer says he mistook for a handgun.
Sumner County District Attorney General Ray Whitley said during a news conference Tuesday that Master Patrol Officer Hunter Raymond was "totally justified" when he shot 22-year-old Steven Dodd in the leg on Aug. 25 in Hendersonville.
Raymond says he negotiated with Dodd for 40 minutes while he stood on the outside ledge of a bridge over a road. Raymond says he shot Dodd only after Dodd aimed a weapon at another officer. Dodd fell and later died at a hospital.
"Over and over and over again, they asked Mr. Dodd to put the gun down. It was a very tense and severe situation," Whitley said, according to media reports.
Police later learned that Dodd was holding a pellet gun, not a handgun.
"Of course, officers had no way of knowing that in the dark," said the district attorney general. "Fortunately the entire episode was captured on dashcam video."
Raymond, who has been on routine leave since the shooting, has been cleared to return to duty.