44-year-old Metro Police Officer Eric Mumaw died this morning trying to stop a woman from committing suicide.
Metro Police say Mumaw and fellow officer Nick Diamond were responding to a call from concerned family members that the woman was planning a suicide attempt by driving her car down a boat ramp near Neely’s Bend.
Officials say the officers were apparently helping her to get out of her car when the vehicle rolled down the ramp and plunged into the frigid water.
Both officers slipped on the ramp. A third officer on scene, Terry Craig, dove in the river attempted to save Mumaw as the man was being pulled by the current. But he slipped away.
Craig and Diamond were treated for exposure. The 40-year-old woman was found an hour later on the banks of the Cumberland and is listed in stable condition.
Officials say a Fire Department rescue diver later found Mumaw's body around 50 yards from the ramp after a nearly four hour search that included help from numerous agencies.
Metro Police Spokesman Don Aaron says the woman appeared to be impaired by “some type of substance” at the time of the incident. He says she is currently being detained and questioned by police and “remains very much under investigation.”
Aaron says the department’s hearts are heavy and praised Mumaw’s heroic efforts.
According to the Tennessean, only two other Metro officers have died in the line of duty in the last twelve years - both of them in Interstate accidents.