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Officer fatally shoots
four-foot-ladder-wielding man
[Nashville, TN]

December 19, 2000
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Officer fatally shoots
four-foot-ladder-wielding man
[Nashville, TN]

PoliceOne Staff Report
(NASHVILLE, Tenn.) -- A man who allegedly struck an officer in the head with a four-foot ladder was shot and killed by Nashville Metro Police.

Timothy Lamon Lane was shot Sunday in the lower neck by Officer Donald Pirtle, 32, after he allegedly ignored commands to drop the ladder and struck the officer in the head with it, police said.

At about 5:45 a.m. Officers Jason Moyer and Jason Mayo responded to the home of Sherry Fox, 35, after she alleged that Lane hit and choked her during an argument.

Before the officers could cuff Lane, he told them he wasn't going to jail again and pushed Mayo against a wall, then fled the house with the officers giving chase, police said.

As he ran, Lane picked up the ladder and swung it at Moyer. He missed and Moyer shot pepper spray at the suspect.

Pirtle, who had responded to the call for back up saw Lane swing at Moyer, drew his weapon and commanded the suspect to drop the ladder. Pirtle officer fired after Lane struck him in the head with the ladder.

Lane was pronounced dead at Nashville General Hospital. Pirtle was treated for a concussion, a head contusion and a cervical strain at Skyline Hospital.

"He took a pretty good lick to the head," Metro Police spokesman Don Aaron told the Tennessean.

Lane's mother questioned the officer's actions.

"What are you going to do with a ladder when they've got guns?" his mother, Hattie Lane, told the newspaper in a telephone interview yesterday. "I could understand if he had a gun or a knife or something. Why did they have to kill him like that?"

Pirtle has been placed on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

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