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TBI investigation could take several months

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All three officers who were injured have since been released from the hospital and are on administrative leave pending investigation. The suspect underwent surgery Thursday for non life-threatening injuries.Hensel is suspected of stealing a car from a Sonic restaurant in Lebanon, said Kristin Helm, public information officer for TBI. A Mt. Juliet Police Department officer saw the vehicle and approached Hensel in a park when the teen allegedly ran over the officer’s foot while trying to flee the scene.

A short time later, MJPD Officers Michael Rountree and Jason Brockman and two Lebanon Police Department officers met to debrief after the chase, and as they were discussing what happened, the suspect was spotted again.

The patrol cars continued the pursuit on North Mt. Juliet Road where the suspect turned onto East Division Street and turned northbound on Highway 109, reaching speeds between 90 and 100 mph.

A Lebanon officer deployed a spike strip on Hwy. 109 which successfully blew out the front tires of the black Chevy Camaro.

The suspect lost control, struck a Lebanon Police vehicle, spinning into a ditch at the Hwy. 109/70 westbound on-ramp. While attempting to flee, the suspect struck Rountree’s vehicle head-on before coming to a stop.

Rountree exited his vehicle and pointed his firearm at the suspect, commanding the driver to stop.

Mt. Juliet Police Chief Andy Garrett said the suspect raised his arms out the roof of the vehicle as to show surrender then tried accelerating again to escape, knocking down Rountree and pinning him under the vehicle.

With continued accelerations, the officer was pulled further under the vehicle until he, Brockman and an LPD officer who was not identified opened fire on the suspect, Garrett said.

Rountree’s leg was pinned between the wheel and wheel well of the vehicle for 15-20 minutes while officers apprehended the suspect and treated him once they realized Rountree did not have life-threatening injuries, according to Lebanon Chief Scott Bowen.

Once more officers arrived on the scene, together they lifted the vehicle off Rountree’s leg once it was determined safe.

Hensel was expected to be charged with one count of attempted second degree murder, four counts aggravated assault, two counts reckless driving, two counts evading and one count possession of a stolen vehicle.

Bowen said the juvenile also has charges pending from a couple of weeks ago when he was believed to have stolen a vehicle from Lebanon before driving it to Rutherford County and burning it.

“It’s a miracle no one was killed or murdered,” Bowen said. “It just goes to show you that nothing ever good happens when you run from the police.”

Garrett said they do not know if the suspect was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.  The three officers were placed on administrative leave.

“The exact events leading up to the shooting and the evidence surrounding the shooting itself ae currently under investigation by TBI,” Helm said. “When our investigation is complete, we’ll turn the case file over to the DA to review to determine any possible criminal charges. It may take several months for our case file to be complete.”

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