NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A Metro Nashville police officer was shot Friday morning in the parking lot of a Dollar General store. The Nashville Metropolitan Police Department (NMPD) identified him as Officer Josh Baker, Law Officer reported. Baker returned fire killing the suspect, graphic video shows.
Nika Holbert was pulled over after Baker noticed the registered owner of the Chevy Camaro she was driving was wanted on several drug warrants. It turned out the owner was not in the vehicle with her at the time of detention.
Footage of the encounter between Baker and Holbert, 31, shows the 14-year veteran officer deploying his Taser on the woman while ordering her to get out of the car.
Baker then tries to take the woman into custody as she yells and reaches for a handgun, opening fire on the officer, who shot back and fatally wounded Holbert, the intense footage shows, New York Post reported.
“Ma’am, you’re about to get tased,” Baker told Holbert as she began to run away as the officer tried to put her in handcuffs, according to the video. “Get down! Get down on the ground!”
Holbert, who was smoking a cigarette at the time, ignored the officer’s instructions and got back into the car, where she was hit with the Taser. She then screamed for help while struggling with Baker as she sat in the driver’s seat and appeared to reach for a weapon, the footage shows.
“Ma’am, put the gun down!” Baker said. “Put the gun down!”
Baker then falls to the ground after being shot and calls for backup, telling a dispatcher “shots fired” as Holbert drove off, the clip shows.
Holbert was later pronounced dead at a hospital, police said.
Baker, who was hit beneath his bullet-resistant vest, was in stable condition after undergoing surgery, police spokesman Don Aaron said in a video statement.
After the shooting, Holbert tossed a semi-automatic pistol into the parking lot, where it was later recovered, Aaron said.
Holbert initially cooperated with Baker, but her “compliance changed” when the officer found what appeared to be marijuana and a white powdery substance in her bag, prompting him to try to detain her until backup arrived, Aaron said.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and prosecutors from the Davidson County District Attorney’s Office are reviewing the fatal shooting, Aaron said.
“This investigation is at the early stages and will take time to complete,” Aaron said of the use-of-force probe.
Nashville’s mayor, John Cooper, said the confrontation is a reminder that being a “police officer anywhere can be a dangerous job,” The Tennessean reported.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Officer Baker and with the families of everyone involved,” Cooper said in a statement.