'Wired' man shot, cuts throat

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

An Oklahoma man was transported to Vanderbilt Hospital with a gunshot wound and a cut to his throat after a confrontation with lawmen in a deserted factory north of Chapel Hill on Sunday.

Cody Barker, 31, was shot in the right leg, "in the hip area," according to Sheriff Norman Dalton.

The Marshall County Sheriff's Department got a call at 11:53 a.m. Sunday, advising that a driver had been in a hit and run accident on Crutcher Road and fled the scene, according to a press release from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

Tennessee Highway Patrol Trooper David Hill, Sheriff's Deputy Tony Nichols, and Chapel Hill Police Department Sgt. Chris Cook started looking for the truck, and found it parked behind the empty Durango Boot factory at the corner of Crutcher Road and U.S. 31A.

Officers entered the building in search of a suspect, the TBI reported.

"When officers confronted him, he pulled out a knife, threatening the officers. Officers opened fire, striking the suspect (who) fell down and ... sliced his throat in an apparent suicide attempt," the report states.

Monday night, Dalton said he'd been told it was a knife with a sheath, perhaps a Bowie knife, or what's known as a boot knife. He said it was dark in the building, which could be why three officers fired their weapons but the suspect was hit only once.

Dalton refused to guess at Barker's motive, but said officers told him Barker appeared "wired."

Barker was treated at the scene, and airlifted to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for treatment. The three officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave with pay, pending investigation of the shooting, which, according to Dalton, "is just what we do."

TBI Special Agent Mike Cox came to the scene as lead agent for the investigation. The Tennessee Highway Patrol Critical Incident Response Team, Sheriff Norman Dalton, and Chief Jackie King also responded.

The shooting and accident are still under investigation. A Vanderbilt spokeswoman had no information on Barker's condition, and explained that gunshot victims usually have "no info" marked on hospital records, so they do not appear in the database. As of Tuesday morning, Barker had not been transferred to Marshall County Jail.