Nashville police chief's son, wanted for shooting 2 officers, found dead

FILE PHOTO: Nashville Chief of Police John Drake

(Reuters) - The estranged son of Nashville's police chief, who was wanted for shooting two police officers, died from a self-inflicted gun wound as authorities closed in on him, state investigators said.

John Drake Jr., 38, who was on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation's "most wanted" list, was found dead in south Nashville on Tuesday night, the bureau said in a written statement on Tuesday.

Drake Jr., the son of Nashville Police Chief John Drake, had been on the run since allegedly shooting and injuring two La Vergne, Tennessee, police officers who had stopped him on Saturday on suspicion he was driving a stolen vehicle. Both officers were treated and released from hospital.

On Tuesday evening, Nashville officers responded to reports that Drake Jr. had allegedly stolen a car at gunpoint and a brief car chase ensued, police said. Drake Jr. crashed into a parked car, jumped out of the vehicle he had allegedly stolen and ran into a shed. As officers approached, they heard a muffled gunshot from the shed and found Drake Jr. dead.

"I am grateful to the members of law enforcement, including many officers from this department, who worked diligently since Saturday to locate my son," Police Chief Drake said in a written statement on Wednesday. "I am heartbroken and saddened by the outcome."

The elder Drake had not seen his son for several years, he said in a statement on Saturday, adding that despite his efforts to guide his son, Drake Jr. had "resorted to years of criminal activity and is a convicted felon."

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said its agents are investigating Drake Jr.'s death.

(Reporting by Brad Brooks in Longmont, Colorado; Editing by Rod Nickel)