COFFEE COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A rural Tennessee community paused Wednesday night to honor a young man killed in a violent crime spree.
Jordan Stevens was just 23 years old when he was murdered during a carjacking this past weekend. On Wednesday night, family members and friends gathered for the first time since his death.
Those in attendance held a passionate prayer service, sang songs and were left in disbelief.
“Everyone is heartbroken,” said Pastor Jeff Owens of the First Baptist Church of McMinnville, “It’s almost a nightmare-ish type of event. It’s hard to even wrap your mind around it.”
The field at Hickory Creek Elementary school was turned into a makeshift sanctuary.
“We have been angry. We have been confused. We’ve been full of sadness.”
Stevens was shot and killed on Sunday in front of his pregnant wife, Aileen. Now, those left behind cling to one another by candlelight. A spotlight was illuminated into the air as soft music was played down below.
“Jordan was a believer, so, there’s that keen sense of — that we have not lost him because we know where he is. There’s a firm belief that he’s in heaven,” said Pastor Owens.
“Lord, we thank you and we praise you for Jordan, his life lived out before us.”
The suspect involved later killed himself after leading investigators on a chase and crashing an SUV just 30 minutes outside of Chattanooga, with Jordan’s wife in the backseat. She survived the incident.