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ODMP Remembers...

Lieutenant James Ronnie Woodard | Metro Nashville Police Department, Tennessee Metro Nashville Police Department, Tennessee


James Ronnie Woodard

Metro Nashville Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch: Wednesday, October 9, 1991

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 46

Tour: 18 years

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Apprehended

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Lieutenant Woodard was shot and killed in the early morning hours after stopping a car he suspected had been stolen. The suspect pulled the vehicle into a bank parking lot and opened fire as Lieutenant Woodard approached the car. Lieutenant Woodard was able to return fire, striking the suspect in the buttocks. A passerby noticed Lieutenant Woodard laying next to his patrol car and used the cruiser's radio to call for help. He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries approximately 30 minutes later. The suspect was arrested approximately two hours after the incident.
Lieutenant Woodard had been with the agency for eighteen years and is survived by his wife.

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Ronnie & my Dad were friends before Ronnie joined the force. I know he did some ride-alongs with my Dad, & shortly after he graduated from the Academy, he was partnered with my Dad. I was about 7, and had a bad accident at home, & needed to go to the ER asap. My Mom called Dispatch, & Daddy & Ronnie were suddenly there. I can remember Ronnie talking to me as Daddy carried me to the car, saying "Santana, you are going to be fine, baby." That was his nickname for me. After the wreck, we went to see him, & my brother was too young to go in. Ronnie was on the ground floor of the old Donelson hospital, & even though his jaws were wired shut, got through to us to bring him in through the window. He wanted one of my Mom's chocolate pies. She asked how he was going to eat it, & he said just bring it, I will suck it through a straw. My parents loved Ronnie dearly, & so did I. He was so handsome, & I know he was the same kind of cop as my Dad, a little rough around the edges sometimes, but would do anything to help people who needed it. He always made me feel special, & loved. I was at work when I found out what had happened, my first job after college. My Mom called me at work, which was unusual, and when she told me what had happened, I had to sit down. I couldn't believe it. My Dad never really got over it. He & Ronnie were like peas in a pod, Daddy had Corvettes, too, & loved to ride bikes. When they were building Briley Pkwy, he & Ronnie used to see who could ride a wheelie the longest. I know you two are together now, just know that you touched my heart forever. Love, Santana

Suzzann Behaylo
Daughter of Ret. Sgt. John Behaylo
August 6, 2017


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