Nashville officer shot
I hadn't seen this posted yet.
Shooting suspect had killed in '86
Wounded officer's peers upset he was ever released
By SHEILA BURKE,
ANNE PAINE and
Twenty years before Willie Lee Lindsey was accused of opening fire on his girlfriend and a Metro police officer Friday, he was the gunman who shot and killed a Chattanooga man at a picnic in a dispute over a woman.
Lindsey, 47, served five years of a 14-year sentence for second-degree murder after the July 1986 shooting at Chester Frost Park in Hamilton County.
Two decades later, as Metro Officer Danita Marsh and Lindsey's girlfriend, Danielle McDowell, fought to recover from gunshot wounds, the policewoman's colleagues questioned a justice system that would allow a convicted murderer to return to the streets.
"We're out here doing our jobs, putting our lives at risk, and you lock these people up and then they are out there on the street. It's frustrating," said Metro Officer Michael Waltz, who, like Marsh, is assigned to the North Precinct.
McDowell's family told in-vestigators that the couple's seven-year relationship was frequently marred by violence. But the only report to police of domestic abuse came on Friday. That's when McDowell's mother called 911 to report that her daughter had been assaulted and held against her will in the Tuckahoe Drive home that she and Lindsey shared.
McDowell said she managed to escape before dawn Friday, and fled to her family's home at 726 Moormans Arm Road.
Marsh, 30, a three-year veteran of the department, was dispatched to take a report and arrived at 5:52 a.m., police said. Since the reported violence had occurred elsewhere, there didn't seem a need to send backup units, police said.
Marsh was in the driver's seat and McDowell in the back seat when Lindsey walked up to the passenger side with a pistol in each hand and opened fire, police said. The officer managed to fire two shots but missed.
Lindsey then opened the door to the police car and pistol-whipped Marsh in the head, police said.
He then turned his attention to McDowell, shooting her in the hip before pulling her from the squad car and beating her until the woman's brother came out of the house, causing Lindsey to flee, department officials said.
Police said Lindsey sped off in his Chevrolet Impala, leading officers on a chase through five counties that reached speeds of more than 100 mph. He rammed a police car in Humphreys County and drew gunfire from several officers before running over police spike strips and crashing his car in Benton County, police said. He was taken into custody after a brief foot pursuit with the help of police dogs.
"He just had no regard for anything," Benton County Police Chief Tony King said. "I just think he lost it."
Lindsey gave a "full confession" to Metro police investigators Friday, police officials
Lindsey's girlfriend was listed in stable condition Friday night at Vanderbilt University Medical Center with a gunshot wound of the hip.
Marsh, who has a 9-year-old son, suffered four gunshot wounds — to her abdomen, chest and both arms — and bullet fragments were detected in her spinal column, raising concern that she may be paralyzed, VUMC spokes-man John Howser said.
"Officer Marsh is unconscious and is being kept that way medically," Howser said. "It does look like she sustained a significant spinal cord injury."
She underwent surgery for less than an hour "to stabilize her," but her vital signs, including heart rate and blood pressure, were so fragile that she could not be put through more surgery Friday, he said. She also suffered a serious cut to her head.
Mayor Bill Purcell went to the bedside of the officer and talked to Metro police officers at the hospital.
Reached by telephone Friday, Marsh's mother could barely speak through tears.
When asked if Marsh was a good daughter, she replied: "She is," before sobbing and handing the phone to another woman.
By midafternoon, more than a dozen Metro officers flooded a local Red Cross office to donate blood. Elsewhere, other Metro officers described Marsh as a kind person and a good officer, and grumbled that the shooting should never have happened.
"Why was this guy on the street?" North Precinct Officer Robert Davenport said. "He's already killed somebody."
In the 1986 killing, Lindsey opened fire after being confronted by his then-girlfriend's ex-husband at a picnic, according to a report at the time in The Chattanooga Times. He was on parole from 1991 to 1999, state parole officials said.
State prison and parole officials said that records no longer existed detailing circumstances of Lindsey's re-lease from prison, but one legal expert said Tennessee's laws had since changed so that there is no parole for second-degree murder.
"The law is different now," said Nashville attorney David Raybin, noting that back then convicts could earn enormous amounts of credit for good behavior in prison and be out on the streets after a relatively short time, even for a murder conviction.
Lindsey also was convicted in 2000 of misdemeanor child neglect in Davidson County, authorities said.
He faces two counts of attempted criminal homicide and is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. He is expected to face additional charges.
I was listening to the chase yesterday morning. A K9 got involved in the capture. There is a chance the officer may be paralyzed, but that is unknown yet.
Thoughts and prayers enroute. :(
Wow my thoughts and prayers to both victims and the Dept.
Shit like this pisses me off. I bet anything this piece of shit doesn't get hardly anything for Prison time. Remember they can't bring up his past except for sentencing and there will be enough liberal ass-holes on the jury that will cry for him.
Makes me wonder for a second or two why we even bother sometimes, but then I know if we didn't who would?
My thoughts and prayers are with them...