NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The body of a Metro police officer who went missing during a water rescue Thursday morning was recovered by a Nashville Fire Department diver.
Metro police identified the fallen officer as 44-year-old Eric Mumaw, an 18-year veteran of the force. He was a member of the Madison precinct and had received numerous awards and reconditions over the years, including Metro’s Lifesaving Award in 2011.
According to Westerville City Schools, Mumaw was a 1991 graduate from Westerville South High School.
“Eric was one of those guys that I was always glad to see come in. We always traded insults with each other in a friendly way. That’s how he was with everybody,” said Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson of Officer Mumaw.
His body was less than 100 yards from the boat ramp at around 8:15am.
The call for the rescue at Peeler Park Greenway Trailhead on Neelys Bend Road went out at around 4am.
Crews with the Nashville Fire Department and Metro police responded to the banks of the Cumberland River to reportedly save a woman who was threatening to drive into the water.
Mumaw and another officer spent nearly 10 minutes negotiating with Juli Glisson, 40, before Metro police said the vehicle slipped into gear and went into the river.
The officers slipped on the edge of the boat ramp and both were submerged, according to authorities. One officer tried to grab Mumaw, but was unable to stop him from being swept into the river.
Mumaw was last seen by his fellow officer 40 to 50 yards from the banks, where the water is estimated to be 15 feet deep.
The surviving officer was transported to TriStar Skyline Medical Center for treatment.
Metro police told News 2 Glisson was able to get out of the car and was later found on the banks of the Cumberland River. She was transported to a local hospital.
Glisson is currently being detained as part of the investigation.
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry released a statement following Officer Mumaw’s death.
Our worst fears were realized today when Officer Mumaw was recovered deceased from the Cumberland River after having given his life to save a woman in distress. Officer Mumaw dedicated his life to the safety and protection of us all, and today he gave his life to that calling. My thoughts and prayers are with Officer Mumaw’s family and friends and all of our Metro Nashville Police Officers today. I want to thank the men and women of our Metro Nashville Police Department and Nashville Fire Department, as well as the city of Hendersonville, Tennessee Highway Patrol, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and Army Corps of Engineers who all came together this morning to assist in the search for Officer Mumaw.”
The Mayor said the Metro courthouse, Korean Veterans Bridge and other buildings will be lit in blue Thursday night in honor of Mumaw.