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  • NewsChannel 5 WTVF

    'I knew I was shot,' officer says. He's now suing for the gun on the street.

    By Ben Hall,

    26 days ago

    A Metro police officer, who was shot with a stolen gun, is suing a business for allowing the gun to be stolen.

    Detective Donovan Coble and his wife, Kayla, are suing The Parking Spot in Donelson claiming the business was a magnet for criminals who wanted to steal guns.

    Attorney David Raybin called it a "new type of lawsuit" that seeks to hold a business accountable for failing to keep a vehicle secure and allowing a gun on the street.

    The Parking Spot is a valet parking business near the Nashville airport, which promises to keep vehicles secure while people travel. The lawsuit claimed the company did not have "secure fencing" and even failed to "lock the doors of cars entrusted to them."

    It further claimed the company should have been on high notice because of the growing number of guns stolen from vehicles in Davidson County. Bob Stinnett / WTVF

    Police body cam video showed Detective Coble responding to The Parking Spot last June.

    "That's him," Coble said as he and his partner got out of his car and began chasing a suspect.

    They had seen the suspect rummaging through a vehicle on the lot. Coble chased the suspect over the back fence.

    He said he recognized the suspect as the same person who had tried to steal a vehicle from the lot earlier that day and then tried to carjack a woman.

    "If we didn't find him this was going to be an ongoing problem until something bad happened," Detective Coble said.

    The chase continued through a neighborhood.

    Coble had his Taser out but did not realize that the suspect had stolen a gun from a vehicle in The Parking Spot.

    "I'm going to Taze you if you don't stop. I've already got you," Coble said during the chase.

    Then suddenly the suspect pulled out a gun.

    "Drop that gun," Coble said.

    Then there was shooting. WTVF

    "I knew immediately that I was shot as soon as it hit me. I knew that I was shot,"Coble said.

    "It actually hit the side of my plate and rode the side of it into my chest," Coble said.

    His bulletproof vest did not stop the bullet.

    Coble was able to get to the street where another officer picked him up and drove him to the hospital.

    "I had no idea what the extent of my injuries were at the time. I just knew it probably wasn't good," Coble said.

    Officers showed up at his wife, Kayla's work, and rushed her to the hospital.

    "They just said he is en route to the hospital right now. He has been shot. That is the only information that I had," Kayla said.

    The department had contacted her less than eight minutes after he was shot.

    "Obviously I wanted to be with him in the hospital. I can't bring my twin 3-year-olds there. I don't want them to see their dad like that," Kayla said.

    The bullet collapsed Donovan's lung and hit his liver.

    The young family is still dealing with the injuries a year later.

    Raybin filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Cobles against The Parking Spot claiming poor security led to the gun being stolen.

    "He may be a police officer, but he was a crime victim in this situation," Raybin said. "This is a new type of lawsuit we are taking on where officers are injured by weapons stolen from vehicles."

    Metro Police reported 1,210 guns stolen from vehicles last year in Davidson County.

    Nearly 80 percent of all guns stolen are taken from vehicles according to police.

    The lawsuit claims The Parking Spot should have been on "higher notice" because of the growing number of guns stolen from vehicles.

    "Given the fact that weapons are traditionally in cars more and more, this is just a crime magnet," Raybin said.

    Raybin emphasized the owner of the vehicle was not at fault.

    He had a permit for the gun and gave his vehicle to The Parking Spot which Raybin said should have kept it safe.

    "He had every reason to expect that gun would be secure in his vehicle," Raybin said.

    Kayla said she is proud of how her husband responded.

    She just wishes he did not have to.

    "It's definitely flipped our world upside down," Kayla said.

    The suspect in this case was also shot and later died from his injuries.

    The Parking Spot issued a comment about the lawsuit.

    "The safety of our guests and team is always our top priority at The Parking Spot. While we are grateful that the Metro Nashville Police helped ensure the safety of our area during the incident in question, we are disappointed Mr. Coble has decided to pursue a civil lawsuit against the very people he was called to protect."

    - The Parking Spot

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