Harrowing moment quick-thinking Nashville officer neutralizes ‘kid’ who ignores orders, reaches for gun

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“Why’d you reach for it, kid?”

Dramatic bodycam footage from the scene of a car accident tells the story of a Nashville policeman who was forced to react when a driver involved in the wreck reached for a gun in his dashboard.

School Resource Officer Byron Boelter was driving home from work Monday when he stopped to assist at the site of a two-car collision involving a Nissan Altima with a child in the backseat and a Chevrolet Camaro driven by 20-year-old Rod Reed. Footage shows that paramedics had arrived and were in the process of rendering aid to those involved in the crash.

Boelter moves to the Camaro and instructs Reed to leave whatever he has behind in his car, whereupon Reed stupidly reaches for a handgun he had apparently kept in the dashboard of his car – a move that forced the officer to neutralize Reed by shooting him in the leg.

Since ethnicity has become elemental in nearly every news story, it should be noted here that both Reed and Officer Boelter are black.

(Video: Metropolitan Nashville Police Department/YouTube)

Reed was transported to the Vanderbilt Medical Center and treated for the gunshot wound. He was listed in stable condition and summarily arrested after being released from hospital care, for as it turns out, Reed had prior offenses and was wanted by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department.

According to MNPD, surveillance footage from a nearby business captured Reed driving his Camaro erratically before hitting the Altima which was driven by a woman transporting her child in the backseat.

Boelter’s bodycam footage shows paramedics pulling a young girl – who appears to be unconscious – from the backseat of the Altima as her mother is heard crying in the background. The girl was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center Pediatrics and treated for minor injuries.

The bodycam footage then shows Boelter approach the driver’s side door of the Camaro as Reed passes in front of the officer and then walks over to the passenger side of the car, Tenessean.com reported.

Boelter calmly tells Reed “Just leave that stuff in there, man,” and motions for Reed to move away from the vehicle. “Just go ahead and go. Go. Go on ahead and go, man,” he tells him.

It is at that point that Reed appears to ignore Boelter and reaches for something on his dashboard, whereupon Boelter deftly fires two shots through the open doors of the car, hitting Reed in the leg and causing him to collapse on the grass near the car. MNPD confirm that Reed was reaching for a gun which has been recovered from the scene.

“Where’s the gun at?” Boelter asks at one point, then tells Reed, “Just leave it right there, buddy. It’s OK, buddy.”

“Where’s the gun, buddy?” Boelter says, as he places a hand on Reed’s back.

“Over there somewhere. I don’t know, sir,” he says.

“Why’d you reach for it, kid?” Boelter asks.

“I was trying to get it out the car, sir,” Reed says.

“Come on, man,” Boelter replies.

Voters in Democrat-run Nashville installed a community oversight board in 2018 which is tasked with reviewing all MNPD interactions for any alleged misconduct. In the meantime, the 16-year veteran Boelter has been placed on routine administrative assignment pending the committee’s investigation, as well as further due diligence from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI.)


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