BELLEVUE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 78-year-old man is still shaken up after encountering car burglars who shot at him and somehow shot one of their own burglary gang.
It all went down early Wednesday morning on Traemoor Village Drive in Bellevue. That’s where police say a group of young auto burglars was driving around looking for open car doors so they could steal personal possessions.
A 78-year-old man was loading his car around the same time. His daughter tells News 2 that the man had gone back in the house to get another load of items, and when he returned to his car, three young thieves were in the vehicle.
His daughter explained what happened nex:
“He started yelling, ‘Help! Help! Police!’ They got out and ran and shot at him. They shot his car directly, and shot at him from 10 yards away because they were running.”
Police say the man crouched behind his Acura as one bullet hole ripped through the passenger side quarter panel.
The daughter says her dad was not harmed, but is a bit shook up.
“He’s shaken up, but he is really happy they have caught some of the criminals. But he has a nice bullet hole, a 9mm in his vehicle.”
Martin Johnson has lived in the townhomes for the last few years. Wednesday morning, he had guests visiting. He says they had their window open and their dog began growling from an upstairs window sensing the teens going from car to car pulling on door handles.
He said his guest called 911. It was about that time that Johnson says he heard a rapid succession of gunfire.
“I was asleep and I heard five shots. Bang bang bang bang bang!”
Johnson says the neighborhood is usually very quiet and nothing like this has happened before. After the shooting, police say the teens piled back into a stolen 2006 Acura and sped away.
Somewhere along Charlotte Pike, near the I-40 ramp, they collided with a tractor-trailer. The car drove off but soon stopped, as three of the suspects bailed from the car.
According to police, two of the burglary suspects stayed at the crash scene. That’s because somehow, in all of the criminal activity, 18-year-old Jericho Butler had been shot in the chest. His friend, Ronnie Hunter, reportedly flagged down another motorist who stopped and took the two teens to St. Thomas Hospital.
Police arrested a 15-year-old from the group who admitted to shooting Jericho Butler. According to police, the 15-year-old is only charged at this time with a felony probation violation in relation to a previous arrest for evading.
The police spokesperson says the shooting appears to be accidental. Butler is expected to be charged when he gets out of the hospital.
Ronnie Hunter is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and theft of vehicle for the 2006 Acura that was stolen on October 13.
Police are still working to locating the other teens that bailed from the car after it struck the semi-truck.
The daughter of the senior said this, “They need to work on the crime issue in Nashville. They really do!”
Anyone with information is asked to call Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME or you can submit a tip online by clicking here.