NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Exactly 10 months after a man was shot and killed along Interstate 24 near East Nashville, News 2 sat down for a one-on-one interview with the detective investigating the case for the first time.
Chris Spaunhorst was driving home to Greenbrier on Dec. 25, 2022, when he lost his life in an alleged road rage shooting, according to the Metro Nashville Police Department.
After the shooting, Chris’ pickup truck collided with a median wall at the James Robertson Parkway exit. Authorities said the suspect vehicle continued driving westbound on I-24.
“He was my rock, he was my anchor, he kept me calmed and centered,” Stephanie Spaunhorst, Chris’ wife, said.
While waiting for Chris to return home last Christmas, Stephanie received the call that her husband — who she said she has loved since she was 12 — had died in Nashville.
“I had to go home and tell our babies that he had been murdered,” Stephanie recalled as she wiped away her tears.
“It’s infuriating when you have a case like this where it’s just somebody who’s just driving home for Christmas that gets shot off the road for a rather insignificant reason, which was two cars trying to merge into the same lane at the same time,” Metro Nashville Police Detective William Mathis told News 2 on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
According to Mathis, out of a dozen leads, the dash camera video is the best image investigators have of the car the shooter was driving. Earlier this year, the detective said officials believe the suspect vehicle is a 2016 to 2020 black Kia Optima.
“Even though we know the make, model, and year range, it’s a matter of going through thousands of possible vehicles just in Tennessee alone, nonetheless nationwide, that it possibly could be,” Mathis said.
He said a license plate reader in the location near East Nashville could have helped solved the crime.
“I heard a song before I came in here, and it says, ‘Hold on, just fight a little bit longer, hang on a little longer,'” Stephanie told News 2.
According to Stephanie, she’ll keep hanging on until Chris’ killer is caught.
“Because as long as they’re out there and they’re free on the streets, it can be somebody else,” the widow explained. “Who says it was their first time? Who said Chris will be their last time?”
The reward for information regarding Chris’ murder now stands at $21,000. If you know anything about the deadly December shooting, no matter how small, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463