NASHVILLE, TN (WKRN) – A Nashville police officer was shot in the shoulder early Tuesday morning, and the suspect gunman was later found dead.
According to police, the suspect, now identified as Paul Hardesty, was found with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head inside a room at the Cumberland Inn.
Officer Terrance McBride was shot at the West Trinity Lane motel around 5:20 a.m. after police received a tip about a possible suspect with outstanding warrants at the motel.
When they arrived, a woman answered the room’s door and told officers no one else was inside.
“As the door opened, they saw obvious drug activity inside, so the officer’s stepped inside to secure the scene,” Police Chief Steve Anderson said.
Shortly after going inside the room, officers heard a gunshot blast and Officer McBride, 28, was shot.
“As they were checking the bathroom, shots were fired toward them,” Police spokeswoman Kristin Mumford said. “They didn’t see the individual and they returned fire and left the room.”
McBride was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center with a serious but non-life threatening injury.
“Officer McBride tells me he did not even see the gun. He heard the blast and felt it in his shoulder area,” Chief Anderson said. “It’s a serious wound, but it’s one the doctors tell me he will make a full recovery,” Chief Anderson said.
McBride is expected to undergo surgery later Tuesday.
“I told Officer McBride this morning, ‘The hospital is going to take care of you and we are going to take care of your family,’” Anderson said.
Shortly after McBride was shot, responding officers were heard shouting at Hardesty, “Come out with your hands up and you won’t be harmed.”
The SWAT team later entered the room and found Hardesty dead in the bathtub. He was clutching the sawed off 12-gauge shotgun.
“It appears at this point that he took his life with the very shotgun he shot our officer with,” Anderson said.
Police said Hardesty, 43, is a parolee out of New York. He came under Tennessee parole supervision from New York in March 2016. His last known Tennessee address was in Robertson County.
It is unknown how long Hardesty has been in the Nashville area, but police did say it is believed he checked into the Cumberland Inn earlier this week. Chief Anderson also said he may have been involved in other recent Nashville crimes.
Police have identified the woman who fled the motel room and plan to speak with her.
The investigation is ongoing. Police said part of the investigation is focusing on Hardesty’s background and his activities in the recent past.
Officer McBride is a three-year veteran with the Metro Nashville Police Department. Officer Luu, who was not injured, is on routine administrative assignment pending the preliminary investigation into the shooting.
Over the last 24 months, police said they have received 846 calls for service. Of those calls, 545 were received over the last 12 months.