Metro officer terminated after officer-involved shooting

Metro police generic
(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Metro-Nashville police officer was terminated from the department for his alleged involvement in an officer-involved shooting.

Joe Pennington, a field training officer out of the Madison precinct, was reportedly terminated in recent weeks but it became official on Tuesday.

While authorities have yet to confirm the exact circumstances, News 2 reported last December that Pennington was decommissioned and assigned to desk duty pending an investigation into a shooting involving a burglary suspect in Madison.

The suspect was driving an SUV when Officer Matthew Nelms fired at the vehicle. Pennington reported he began firing after hearing the shots and not seeing Nelms.

At the time, Chief Steve Anderson said Nelms’ performance during his probationary work test period was not acceptable due to his use of deadly force, which was found to be inconsistent with policy and his extensive academy training. Policy states that officers “not discharge their firearm at or from a moving vehicle unless absolutely necessary to protect the life of the employee or others.”

The policy also states that “employees should not knowingly place themselves in a position where they would be in jeopardy of being struck by a suspect vehicle or knowingly stand and/or step into the path of a vehicle, creating circumstances where the use of deadly force may be necessary.”

Nelms was terminated for his involvement while Pennington was decommissioned.

Further details on Pennington’s termination have not been released. Metro police have yet to say if it is connected to his decommissioning last December.

He had been a member of the police force for over 16 years.