Inmate Killed By Police After Attacking Officer in Vanderbilt Health Clinic

The Vanderbilt health clinic briefly issued a shelter in place.

An inmate was fatally shot after police say he attacked a deputy with a screwdriver inside a Vanderbilt health clinic Wednesday.

The incident occurred as Robertson County inmate Rodney L. Cole, 37, was being treated as a forensic patient at the Vanderbilt 100 Oaks health clinic, which is an outpatient facility within the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

An investigation into the officer-involved shooting is ongoing.

As Robertson County Deputy Josh Wiley was escorting Cole into a bathroom at the facility, Cole lunged at Wiley and attacked him with a long screwdriver, according to police reports. Deputy Tomishae Jones then entered the bathroom after hearing WIley’s screams and saw Cole on top of Wiley stabbing him.

Jones opened fire, and Cole was eventually declared dead in the hallway, although it is not clear exactly how the shooting unfolded.

“There was as least two guns involved,” Metro Nashville Police spokesperson Kris Mumford explained. “You have the screwdriver involved. So as this unfolds and as the investigation progresses, we will have more certainty.”

Wiley was injured in the shooting and by the screwdriver. He was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center and is listed in critical condition. Jones sustained no injuries in the incident.

Police say they are currently unsure how Cole obtained the screwdriver.

Cole was serving a 15 year sentence for violent crimes including assault, evading arrest and attempted carjacking. Although he was in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, the Robertson County Sheriff’s Department has a contract with the federal government to hold its inmates, reports

The Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which issued a shelter-in-place message over its loudspeaker during the incident, released the following statement:

“In accordance with our policies, and out of an abundance of caution, employees and visitors on the One Hundred Oaks campus were advised to shelter in place while a thorough sweep of the building was conducted by law enforcement officers. The safety and well-being of our patients and employees is always our first concern.”


About the Author


Zach Winn is a journalist living in the Boston area. He was previously a reporter for Wicked Local and graduated from Keene State College in 2014, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in journalism and minoring in political science.

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