DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Middle District of Tennessee

For Immediate Release

Thursday, February 14, 2019
Donald Q. Cochran
, United States Attorney
Contact: David Boling

Columbia, Tennessee Man Facing Federal Firearms Charges After Shooting at Police Officers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – February 14, 2019 – Jamal J. Gardner, 47, of Columbia, Tennessee, was charged today in a criminal complaint with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm, announced U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee. 


“As I have said many times, when a law enforcement officer in this district is assaulted, we will bring federal charges whenever possible,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran.  “This was an extremely violent encounter and we are grateful that lives were not lost.  We will hold this defendant accountable for his actions.”


According to the criminal complaint, a Columbia Police Officer initiated a traffic stop of a vehicle matching the description of a report of a reckless driver.  As the officer approached the vehicle, he observed the driver holding a rifle and the driver immediately began firing at the officer. As the officer took cover and returned fire, the driver, later identified as Jamal Gardner, fled into a nearby residence and continued firing at responding officers.  Garner fired approximately 80 rounds, from at least four firearms, before escaping from the house. 


 On February 8, 2019, Garner surrendered to police in Detroit, Michigan and is awaiting transfer to the Middle District of Tennessee. 


 If convicted, Garner faces a minimum sentence of 15 years and up to life in prison.


This case was investigated by the Columbia Police Department; the 22nd Judicial District Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas J. Jaworski is prosecuting the case.


 A criminal complaint is merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.


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Nashville Field Division