NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Metro Police said it was miracle no one at a busy Elliston Place shopping plaza was injured or killed last week. Countless bystanders watched as a dramatic police chase and shootout unfolded in front of them.
Wednesday, the officer who started it all talked about those dramatic moments.
Last Friday, Smyrna police officer Rick Hall was reviewing security footage at America's Motor Sports on Eighth Avenue of Aaron Smith using stolen credit cards. The 20-year police veteran was surprised when the man he was looking for came through the door.
Moments later, a confrontation ensued. Officer Hall tried to restrain Smith until he pulled out a gun.
"I just knew it was a black semi-automatic with a laser on it because I saw the laser go across my eyes ," said Officer Hall.
At that point, Smith ran away. The first thing he saw was a Buick SUV. He stopped the car, pulled out the driver at gunpoint and sped off.
"He's looking at me and I'm looking at him. I said 'just stop, just stop. It's not worth it,'" Hall said.
By pure chance, Officer Hall knew the carjacking victim Dean Goetzinger. It turns out the two went to high school together.
"She says 'I remember you from the skating rink,' and I'm sitting there trying to calm her down she says 'what are you doing here?'"
As Aaron Smith was driving away with the stolen car he was actually talking to the carjacking victim's husband on her cell phone via Bluetooth. They had been on the phone together as she left work.
Smith was shot and killed by Metro Police after leading them on a chase throughout Nashville.
Police said Smith abandoned his car on West End Avenue and took off on foot on Elliston Place. He arrived at the Elliston Point shopping center around 6:17 p.m. Officers on the scene said Smith was pointing a gun at his head and attempting to enter businesses in the shopping center when he was shot by police.