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Detective Relives Armed Confrontation with Suspect - John Dunn

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It was a frightening chain of events that involved an armed carjacking and a shooting outside a busy Nashville shopping area. Now, the mid-state police officer who was there at the beginning is speaking out.

Det. Rick Hall is reliving the moment when a gun was pointed at his face. "He's looking at me, and I'm looking at him. I said stop man, it ain't worth all that, stop," says Smyrna Det. Rick Hall.

Smyrna Detective Rick Hall can now say he has tread the fine line separating life and death. Friday afternoon Hall was investigating a stolen credit card used at America's Motor Sports on 8th Avenue South, when he unexpectedly came face to face with the suspect.

51 year old Aaron Smith drove up in his motorcycle while Hall was in the showroom. The detective and Smith stepped outside and began talking about stolen property. Seconds later everything changed. "His left hand went down and that's when I thought, well he's fixing to pull something else out," says Det. Hall.

Hall says he saw a black pistol with a laser site pointed at his head. He pushed Smith away, attempting to pull his own weapon, but Hall says the suspect took off running. A few blocks away police say Aaron Smith carjacked Deann Goetzinger, stealing her Buick Enclave.
Detective Hall chased, but he was unable to stop him. "I'm trying to figure out where I'm at. I'm getting my phone at the same time, trying to unlock it, dialing 911," says Det. Hall.

Eventually Aaron Smith was tracked to a shopping center on Elliston Place and police moved in. Investigators say Smith first held the gun to his head, then pointed it at the officers. Smith was shot several times and died at the scene. "I thought at some point he'd finally give in, but obviously not," says Det. Hall.

Rick Hall has spent the past few days reliving what happened. He credits his training for seeing him through. "I'm just grateful I'm still here to be able to talk to you right now," says Det. Hall.

Aaron Smith, who lived in Franklin, has a lengthy criminal history, including convictions for aggravated robbery, auto burglary, theft, and forgery.

For news updates follow John Dunn on twitter @WZTVJohnDunn

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