NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – When tragedy strikes families, it’s hard not to get upset or angry. Oftentimes, people will blame the suspect who took the life of their loved one, but that’s not the case for those who were close to Nick Patterson.
“You can’t be prepared, there’s no preparation. You don’t figure out the right words to say; there are no right words to say. I just knew that I needed to show up,” said Brandon Jacobs, Pastor of Alive Nashville Church.
Patterson died while working as a clerk at a Twice Daily Shell gas station in Smyrna.
The gas station is now hosting a fundraiser to honor his life. Twice Daily will donate 50 cents for every gallon of gasoline sold on Thursday, September 8, at the Stontecreat Parkway location in Smyrna. All proceeds will go directly to Patterson’s family. All community members are welcome to come to what is being called “Fill up for Nick.”
It’s the memories and, most importantly, the stories that so many people now cling to.
“The wrestlers would want to take pictures with him when he went to conventions, not the other way around,” Jacobs laughed.
Brandon and his wife Sara have known the Patterson family for years. Brandon explained he remembered getting a series of text messages shortly after the shooting, asking him if he had heard what happened. He said he then messaged Nick’s brother. Then, Brandon asked if he could come and be with the family.
There’s no cheering anyone up. No one needs to be cheered up; they need to feel what they’re feeling, and they feel so bad because they loved Nick so much, but then the stories started,” Jacobs said, as he remembered visiting with Nick’s family. “That’s when I saw them smile for the first time.”
After the shooting, employees gathered in the parking lot to pray and comfort one another. News 2 was there and spoke to several customers who remembered Nick as someone who was caring, helpful, and wouldn’t hurt anyone.
“He was the exact person that you would want to see on your worst day, and he would notice and he would say something. He would pay for your coffee, or there was the one woman who said she was caught out in the snow,” remembered Jacobs. “Nick said, ‘Hey just hang out here, I’ll give you free coffee. Wait until the roads clear out a little bit,’ and it was always these little acts of kindness.”
When the shooting happened, it was a typical Tuesday morning for Nick, who worked the midnight shift at the Shell Gas station. The gas station is set up right across from a local hospital, and Nick would often see staff or officers, many of them wrapping up a late shift.
News 2 asked the Jacobs if they could choose one word to describe Nick and what his legacy would be. The answer came easily.
“Easy, it’s kindness,” said Jacobs. “No doubt, be kind. The more I learn about Nick, the more I wish we could be more like Nick. If we could all be a little more like Nick, then I honestly think the world would be a better place.”
Police were called to the Twice Daily Shell Gas Station on Stonecrest Parkway at around 3 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, in response to an attempted armed robbery. When authorities arrived they found Patterson shot and killed.
The search for the suspect began.
Surveillance footage from that morning showed a male suspect enter the store, pull out a gun, and demand money from the register. Afterward, the suspect is seen fleeing the store.
The day after the shooting, an arrest was made. Smyrna police, along with Brentwood police, Metro Nashville police, and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, arrested Keanthony Williams, 31.
Williams is facing charges of attempted aggravated robbery and first-degree murder. He is set to appear in court on September 20.
Authorities say this is still an active investigation and investigators are continuing to interview witnesses and gather more information.