A Metro Nashville police officer was found dead on Thursday after trying to save a suicidal woman in the Cumberland River. Crews were searching for the officer, who had dived in the frigid waters to save the woman.
Fellow Metro police officer Don Aaron spoke to the press during a news conference, ABC News reported, explaining that the man who jumped into the river was an 18-year veteran. He was last seen about 50 to 60 yards from a boat ramp on the river.
The officer, 44-year-old Eric Mumaw, is now being remembered for his heroic deed. The Tennessean reported that his body was finally recovered by a diver early Thursday morning after attempting to rescue the suicidal woman around 4:30 a.m.
This is an immense tragedy, especially for the friends and family of Mumaw, as well as for his fellow policemen. The Nashville officer, however, obviously lived by the sacrificial calling of his vocation, and he is being remembered as a true hero, as Police Chief Steve Anderson confirmed.
“I know he died doing what he loves. He loved his midnight shift and he gave his life. I know his whole detail is over there. They’re grieving. They’re going to miss him.”
Eric Mumaw was an honorable officer, according to the Tennessean, who reported that he had received many awards throughout his career. He was recognized by the department in 2011 with the Life Saving Award after he and a fellow officer saved a woman from a relative “who was drunk and armed.” Then, in 2003, he received the Exemplary Service Award. Mumaw bravely faced many other challenging situations during his time as a police officer, but his detail claims that Eric loved what he did and always acted with his whole heart.
In tweets remembering Eric Mumaw’s life and service, friends are using the hashtag #John1513, referencing the Bible passage, John 15:13. This passage, they believe, is an excellent memorial to Mumaw.
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
Sgt. Robert Weaver, in whose wedding Officer Mumaw took part, said that he always “went out of his way” to help other people.
“When he was up here in Madison, there was an individual that he went and — one of the homeless people that lives here in Madison — Officer Mumaw had noticed him on several calls, and knew that this was a person who needed just a little bit of help. And went to the McDonalds one night and bought him a meal, and took it […] to him and was, you know, appreciative that this person wasn’t causing trouble.”
Eric Mumaw and a fellow officer responded to a scene where 40-year-old Juli Glisson sat in her car on a boat ramp, reportedly having suicidal thoughts. The police had received a 911 phone call from a relative of Glisson, WRCB TV reported. When the officers arrived, the car was already at the edge of the water. After attempting to talk to and reason with her for about 10 minutes, Glisson’s car began to roll into the water.
During a frantic and rapid attempt to save her, Glisson was freed and found at the edge of the river around 10:15 a.m. She was taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center, but there is no report yet concerning her condition. The other officer at the scene was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, but his condition has not been confirmed either.
Eric Mumaw’s body was found around 9:15 a.m. While his loss will be greatly mourned, his memory will live on with those who loved him.
[Featured Image by Metro Nashville Police Department/AP Images]