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body cam footage fatal shooting

MNPD releases dash, body camera footage in the fatal shooting that injured officer

authored by Brinley Hineman Rachel Wegner Nashville Tennessean

Metro Nashville police released video footage of a fatal shooting that injured an officer and killed a woman Friday morning. 

East Precinct Officer Josh Baker was shot in the torso Friday morning while performing a traffic stop on a car whose owner was wanted on outstanding warrants. As of Friday night, he remains in stable condition after surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 

Dash and body worn camera footage released Friday night by MNPD shows that around 9 a.m. while Baker was patrolling Brick Church Pike, he came across a black 2015 Chevrolet Camaro registered to Demond M. Buchanan, who was wanted on six outstanding warrants related to drug charges. 

The car stopped in the parking lot of a Dollar General on Brick Church Pike, at which point Baker discovered that the driver was actually Nika Nicole Holbert, 31, police spokesman Don Aaron said. 

Holbert initially complied with Baker’s directions, Aaron said. Dispatch audio provided by MNPD shows Baker telling dispatchers that everything was initially OK after the stop.

The officer then discovered what appeared to be marijuana and a white powder substance and attempted to detain her, at which point he requested backup officers, footage shows. 

body camera footage in shooting that killed woman

Baker’s body-worn camera footage shows that he instructed Holbert to stop rifling through her bag and hand it over to him. 

“Listen,” he told her when Holbert went back to the vehicle. “Just come back here. I just think we’re getting off on the wrong foot.” 

Baker explained to her that he pulled her over because the car’s owner was wanted on several warrants. Holbert said she was alone in the car. Baker told her that his body worn camera was recording audio and video of the incident. 

Video footage shows that Holbert called someone whom she identified as her mom and said she needed to come to the scene. When Baker discovered the apparent drugs, he informed Holbert he was stepping away to place them in his police vehicle. 

Things escalated when Baker attempted to detain Holbert. She grabbed her bag and ran away from the officer, who told her she was about “to get tased.” He pulled out his stun gun, and the woman screamed and ran into the vehicle, at which point Baker deployed the weapon on her, video footage shows. 

Seconds later, Baker took a step back and screamed at the woman “to put the gun down.” 

The footage show the two exchanging gun fire. The shot that hit Baker’s torso knocked him backwards in the parking lot. He immediately called dispatch to inform them he had been struck. Aaron said Holbert threw the pistol into the parking lot, which was later discovered by investigators. 

Holbert then drove the car away from the scene, soon crashing it in the bushes and ditch at the intersection of Brick Church Pike and Moorewood Drive. Emergency crews on the scene rendered aid to Holbert and transported her to Skyline Medical Center where she died. 

Nashville police officer shot:What we know about shooting outside Dollar General parking lot

A 14-year-veteran, Baker is a legacy police officer, Aaron said. His father, Danny Baker, was commander of the East Precinct and at one point a captain with the Metro Nashville Police Department.  

Law enforcement agencies across Middle Tennessee shared words of support after learning that Baker had been shot.

“What happened today is a reminder that being a police officer anywhere can be a dangerous job. My thoughts and prayers are with Officer Baker and with the families of everyone involved,” Mayor John Cooper said in a statement. 

The TBI is investigating, as is Metro Nashville Community Oversight, the city’s independent law enforcement review agency. The MNCO will investigate to see if any MNPD policies were violated by Baker. 

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

Reporter Yihyun Jeong contributed. 

Find reporter Rachel Wegner at rawegner@tennessean.com or on Twitter @rachelannwegner.View Comments

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