Officer forced to shoot suspect near Vanderbilt

Officer forced to shoot suspect near Vanderbilt (Image 1)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A Metro police officer was forced to shoot a credit card fraud suspect Wednesday afternoon after the suspect hit the officer with his car in a parking garage at the edge of the Vanderbilt University campus.

Police spokesperson Don Aaron said Michael Smith was shot at least once in the chest and transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.  He was in surgery late Wednesday afternoon although his injuries did not appear to be life-threatening.

West Precinct Officer Chad Barth, an 11-year veteran of the Metro Police Department, also suffered non life-threatening injuries.  He was treated at Vanderbilt and released. 

The incident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. in the parking garage at 2525 West End Avenue, located behind PF Chang's and Fleming's restaurants.

Police said Smith worked as an errand runner for a law firm in the area and was under investigation for allegedly using the firm's credit card to purchase at least one plane flight, pay for hotel rooms and pay his personal cell phone bill.

When he went to the firm, Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, Wednesday to reportedly “smooth things over”, company officials called police.

Aaron said when Officer Barth responded to the scene, Smith was sitting in his car, parked in the garage.

With the driver's door open and Officer Barth standing next to the interior compartment, Smith managed to start the vehicle and put it in reverse despite Barth's repeated commands for him to stop.

Police said the driver's door slammed into Barth as the car backed up, knocking him to the ground.

Barth fired on Smith, who crashed into another vehicle in the parking garage and stopped.

Metro police said Smith is a registered sex offender who was last known to live in Lafayette, Macon County.

He was convicted of a multi-count sex crimes indictment in Sarasota County, Florida, in June 1995 and moved to Tennessee after he was released from prison.

Police said he is also reported to be a former Florida State Trooper.

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