Who was Marvin Vega? Knife-wielding man shot dead by Nashville police was a wanted murder accused

Footage shows officer Christopher Royer asking the man with knives to 'stop' as he charged towards him, during a traffic stop


                            Who was Marvin Vega? Knife-wielding man shot dead by Nashville police was a wanted murder accused
Marvin Vega (L) was shot dead by Christopher Royer (R) (Police Handout/Twitter)

NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE: A police officer fatally shot a man who charged at him with two butcher knives, a shocking incident which was caught on video. The footage shows officer Christopher Royer asking the man with knives to "stop," as the man can be seen charging towards him, during a traffic stop in Nashville, Tennessee.

Officer Royer was doing his routine patrol in the city's Bordeaux neighborhood on Saturday, April 24, when he stopped a white Mercedes. According to Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, the driver was cooperative but the passenger, Marvin Vega, came out of the car holding two butcher knives.

In the footage, the armed man can be seen trying to get inside the police officer's car, while officer Royer can be heard asking him to drop his weapon. "What are you doing? Drop the knife!" he yelled. The driver can also be heard yelling "What are you doing? Stop!"

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Moments later Vega can be seen charging towards the cop who shouts "I don't want to shoot you!" As the passenger approaches him, officer Royer, shoots the man three times before he collapses in the street. Authorities reported that Vega died after he was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

It was later identified that Vega was wanted in Massachusetts for the murder of a man identified as Brockton in 2020. Vega and his alleged accomplice, identified as Takari Elliot, are accused of shooting the 25-year-old multiple times in the head and body. Elliot had been arrested back in March 2021 but Vega had remained on the loose until the incident. Elliot has pleaded not guilty to the charges. 

Police Chief John Drake said during a press conference: "What you don't see on there is that, when he was down, there were five officers who rendered aid to this individual," reports NBC News. He further added that the officer was facing a lethal situation and responded appropriately.

When asked what prompted Royer to check Vega's ' license plate, Drake said that their department deals with "a number of vehicles stolen, usually around 3,000 a year. Officers run tags all the time to determine if vehicles are stolen or not."

This incident comes few days after Ohio teen Ma'khia Bryant was fatally shot by a cop just moments before Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murdering George Floyd. Bodycam footage showed a "knife-wielding" teen being shot multiple times while being engaged in an altercation with two other females. In the video, two girls can be seen arguing before a cop shouted "Get down" and began firing his weapon multiple times at one of them.

The officer was identified as Nicholas Reardon was placed on administrative leave after the incident triggered outrage.