HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A suicidal man showed up to the Hendersonville Police Department and pulled a knife on two officers early Tuesday morning.
It happened Tuesday morning in front of the building in the parking lot around 6 a.m.
“I would take it he was wanting to be shot today,” said Sgt. Jim Vaughn.
The man, now identified as David Starko, approached Sgt.Jimmy Garrett with a 13-inch knife in his hand. He reportedly told the 13-year veteran that one of the two men is going to die today.
“Essentially it’s a death by cop scenario,” Sgt. Vaughn told News 2.
Sgt. Garrett backed up from Starko while radioing for help. Master Patrol Officer Stephen Wilson rushes to his side.
“So at any point, if he had lunged at the officers, he’d have had every right to use lethal force,” Sgt. Vaughn said.
With the 64-year-old still advancing with the long knife, Sgt. Garrett deployed his Taser. The effect is limited, so Officer Wilson also deployed his Taser.
Starko drops to the ground and officers quickly kicked the knife away. He was handcuffed and medical help arrived soon after.
“This could have been very different. Thank goodness. He basically saved Mr. Starko’s life today,” Sgt. Vaughn told News 2.
Video of the incident shows the officers both have their guns drawn, but the Tasers are their primary weapons.
“It’s outstanding police work,” Vaughn said. “I’m very proud. They not only saved Starko’s life but nobody was injured.”
The man was taken to a nearby hospital for an evaluation. He’ll eventually be charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a police officer.