Editor's note: It was the off-duty officer's family who witnessed the shooting, not the family of the man killed.
A portion of Interstate 65 in Nashville was closed for several hours Thursday after nearly a dozen local and state law enforcement fatally shot a 37-year-old man as he stood in the middle of the freeway.
The Metro Nashville Police Department reported MNPD officers, Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers and an off-duty Mt Juliet officer fatally shot the man near Harding Place about 10 miles south of downtown.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the agency leading the investigation into the shooting, identified the man as Landon Eastep.
No one else was injured in the shooting, the TBI reported.
The incident began just before 2 p.m., THP Sgt. John Grinder said, when a trooper came into contact with the man, who had what appeared to be a box cutter, on the interstate.
According to the TBI and Nashville police, the trooper saw a man sitting on a guardrail near mile marker 76 and went to check on him. At some point, he said, the man pulled out a box cutter.
The trooper attempted to negotiate with Eastep, and soon, the THP reported, an off-duty Mount Juliet Police Department officer also stopped, along with back-up officers from MNPD and additional THP troopers.
"The negotiations with Eastep, aimed at convincing him to surrender, continued for approximately 30 minutes," the TBI reported. "At one point, the man appears to adjust his stance and reach for what was later identified as a metal cylindrical object at his waist."
At least nine of the law enforcement officers fired upon Eastep, according to the TBI.
He died at the scene.
Video posted to social media that appears to show the shooting shows more than a dozen armed, uniformed officers on the interstate with their weapons drawn. At one point in the video, the man raises his arm toward some of the officers and the officers open fire on the man. More than a dozen shots can be heard.
Mt. Juliet Capt. Tyler Chandler told reporters at the scene the off-duty officer's family was in a car on the interstate and witnessed the shooting.
“The officer is very upset the family had to see the interaction," Tyler said. “A lot of people on this interstate saw this take place. The man’s family, our prayers and thoughts go out to them.”
MNCO has been notified of an officer involved shooting and the Executive Director is responding to the scene.
— Metro Nashville Community Oversight (@MNCONashville) January 27, 2022
"TBI agents are working to independently determine the series of events leading to the shooting, including collecting evidence and conducting interviews," the TBI released in a statement just before 8:30 p.m.
Officials said investigative findings will be shared with the District Attorney General for his further review and consideration.
Just before 4 p.m., MNPD announced two southbound lanes of I-65 had opened but northbound lanes remain closed beginning at the Old Hickory Boulevard exit.
Around 6:30 p.m. Interstate 65 was reopened between Old Hickory Boulevard in Brentwood (Exit 74) and Harding Place (Exit 78)
Traffic along I-65 had been back backed up as far north as Wedgewood Avenue and as far south as just north of Cool Springs.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Katelynn White and Adam Friedman contributed to this story.
This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville shooting: Police fatally shoot man, shutting down I-65