Last Friday, Seventh District Attorney General Dave Clark released the findings from the TBI investigation into a 2019 officer-involved shooting that left a 51-year-old man dead, determining that the officers acted appropriately given the circumstances.
On Aug. 13, 2019, Jerry Orlando Weaver was shot and killed after a 15-minute standoff with officers in the middle of an intersection in the 600 block of West Broad Street.
Officers responded after receiving reports of a suicidal man armed with a handgun.
According to the district attorney’s five-page press release, Weaver pointed the gun at his head, as well as “randomly toward the sky and briefly at officers,” refusing repeated commands from officers to put down the weapon.
Officers said Weaver made statements saying, “that he would shoot himself, that officers would have to kill him, and [that] he would not go back to prison.”
Weaver was certain the Tennessee Department of Corrections would petition to revoke his parole and send him back to prison after being convicted of new charges following his 2018 parole, the release said.
Clark pointed out in the release that Weaver had made similar comments to friends and family in the 24 hours prior to the Aug. 13 shooting, and that Weaver was motivated to hurt himself or force police to hurt him in order to avoid returning to prison. The release also states that family members told investigators that he had been doing meth in the days leading up to the incident.
Weaver was shot after allegedly pointing the gun at three officers and moving towards them in what was described as a “trot” and also a “lunge,” by both civilian and law enforcement witnesses.
Clark said three officers shot at and struck Weaver, who was transported to an area hospital for treatment but later died.
The TBI retrieved Weaver’s weapon, a 9mm pistol, which was found to have no ammunition and investigators couldn’t find any spent cartridges on scene.
Weaver’s family and neighbors were among those who witnessed what happened, according to the release.
According to the autopsy results, the DA’s office said Weaver had been shot at least 11 times, and was hit in the chest, back, thigh, buttocks, pelvis and foot. The autopsy also showed that that he had meth, cocaine, amphetamine, and other drugs in his system.
Clark concluded the officers were authorized to use lethal force in the incident, citing Weaver’s previous criminal history and statements from family, adding that officers had no way of knowing that Weaver’s gun was unloaded.