The seven bounty hunters went after the same target: A fugitive wanted for probation violation. They thought they found their man inside a Nissan.
When they tried to serve a warrant, that’s when things escalated.
The case in Clarksville, Tennessee, is noteworthy for many reasons. The bounty hunters ended up shooting and killing an innocent man. And, more importantly, they broke the law when they did so.
It was sometime before 12:30 a.m. late last month when the bounty hunters came across the Nissan Altima in the parking lot of a Walmart.
This is what happened next, according to police:
The Altima pulled off the parking lot, almost hitting the men. The pursuers jumped in their cars and chased it, firing shots.
The car finally pulled over. There were four men inside. One of them, Jalen Johnson, was dead.
Bounty hunters aren’t law enforcement agents and aren’t protected by the same laws that cover other officials. They can legally fire only in cases of self-defense, Clarksville Police spokesman Tim Anderson told CNN.
“Not sure why they fired on the car or the thought process,” he said.
The bounty hunters and the bail bondsmen are facing 16 charges, including murder.