Grand jury clears Lenoir City police officer who jumped in man’s truck, shooting him

Family of victim concerned with 'cowboy cop' attitude and actions, according to attorney.

Lenoir City Police Department officer Tyrel Lorenz, 29 (LCPD)

LENOIR CITY (WATE) – The District Attorney General Russell Johnson said a grand jury has cleared an officer.

Lenoir City Police Department officer Tyrel Lorenz, 29 (LCPD)
Lenoir City Police Department officer Tyrel Lorenz, 29 (LCPD)

In an incident on March 13, District Attorney General Johnson said the grand jury unanimously agreed to drop four counts against Lenoir City Police Department Officer Tyrel Lorenz, 29. Josh Grubb was shot and killed by Lorenz at Bimbo’s convenience store located off Highway 321 exit on Interstate I-75, according to Johnson.

The officer was responding to a call about a possible drunk driver who had left Ruby Tuesday and went to Bimbo’s to get gas.

Previous story: Suspect shot to death by Lenoir City police officer

Several videos have been released showing what led up to the shooting. After seeing them, the family of Grubb said they’re concerned with the ‘cowboy cop’ attitude and actions of the officer.

As of Thursday, Officer Lorenz was back on the job and family members of Grubb said they’re fighting the decision from the grand jury.

“He reacted in an attempt to stop the truck and then once he was in the back of the truck, his life and other lives were in danger and that’s why he fired the shots,” Johnson said.

Joshua Grubb
Joshua Grubb

District Attorney General Russell Johnson said Lorenz was attempting to arrest someone when Grubb sped off. Johnson said he ordered Grubb to stop the truck, which was traveling on the wrong side of the road, then shot him as the truck was entering Highway 321.The truck kept going on the wrong side of the road, going over the highway overpass above I-75 and into a utility pole.

A toxicology report showed Grubb was over the legal blood alcohol limit and had drugs in his system.

“It is unusual that an officer would put himself in that position to end up in the back of the truck however pulled in, drug in,” Johnson said.

The Grubb family’s attorney released the following statement:

As attorney for the Grubb family, we have reviewed the videos associated with the actions of Officer Lorenz, and are disturbed by the actions of this officer in extinguishing the life of Joshua Grubb.  In addition we are more distressed by the cavalier attitude of the officer in misrepresenting to the media what occurred as evidenced by the clear conflicts with the actual videos and audio.

We have employed our own use of force expert and have opened a dialogue with the requisite authorities concerning the civil aspect of this wrongful taking of a human life.  We anticipate “the rest of the story” to be born out by the audio and video as well as the condemnation of the officer’s actions by nationally recognized pro-law enforcement experts.

Officer Lorenz’s “Cowboy Cop” attitude and actions cannot be condoned in a modern civilized free society and his day of reckoning will come in a court of law sooner rather than later.  We will also be sharing our more complete investigation findings with the Attorney General so he will be provided another opportunity to present this horrendous action to the Grand Jury for their consideration.

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