Detective Donovan Coble was responding to reports an armed man was breaking into automobiles near the Nashville International Airport. During a fence-climbing foot chase, Coble’s bodycam footage shows suspect Delama Casimir wildly firing a .380 pistol at the pursuing officer without turning. A round struck Coble in the stomach.
“I’m hit in the ribs,” Coble, struggling but still walking, told a police dispatcher as he jumped into a second Metro police officer’s truck.
The four-year police veteran, who is 33, is expected to make a full recovery.
Randy Sutton of The Wounded Blue says many police officers who are wounded in the line of duty carry that scar for the rest of their career. So they deserve to be recognized more often for their sacrifice, he says.
“As of this week,” says Sutton, a former police lieutenant, "46 officers have lost their lives in the line of duty but 166 have been shot.”
It is no accident Sutton’s group calls itself “The Wounded Blue,” since the mission is helping struggling officers. Many are struggling after a life-changing shooting. The organization’s peer support program says it hears from an average of 100 law enforcement officers a week.
Sutton says today’s police officers are facing a greater challenge than generations before them because the life-taking criminals on the streets are being protected by the legal system.
“No consequences for crime. No consequences for violence,” he complains. “You're not seeing any reason for people not to commit acts of violence against law enforcement.”
Fox 17 News, a Fox News affiliate in Nashville, dug up Casimir's criminal record from Florida, where he is from. His charges going back to 2014 include battery, domestic violence, grand theft of a motor vehicle, possession of cocaine with intent to sell, trafficking in morphine, and criminal mischief.
Casimir will not be an example of that liberal justice system. In the brush where he shot the Metro detective, the suspect was found and shot by a SWAT team while still holding his firearm. He later died in surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
Editor's Note: Randy Sutton is author of the upcoming book "Rescuing 911: The Fight for America's Safety."