NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Metro Police confirmed they’re pursuing leads in the shooting murder of a Vanderbilt data scientist on his porch in East Nashville a week ago Tuesday night.
Originally, police said it was a targeted shooting, but did not immediately name any suspects.
Neighbors in the town home complex are completely shaken to their core. Several tell News 2 that nothing like this has ever happened there and they can’t imagine anyone who would want to kill– let alone hurt 30-year-old Ben Lane.
“He’s also the type of person that never had a bad interaction with anybody, so I think that’s partly why everybody was just shocked to hear,” his former graduate school advisor at Vanderbilt University, Jeffrey Blume, told News 2, “People are still struggling with it.”
Lane completed the graduate program Biostatistics and then joined the Data Science Institute under Jesse Spencer-Smith who told News 2 that he had an infectious personality.
“Ben always had a positive outlook, so Ben always brightened up the meetings that he was in, he was always excited to take on something new, he was always excited by challenges,” Spencer-Smith said.
The shooting took place just after 9 p.m. off Colbert Way in Rosebank. Police said Lane and his girlfriend were putting together furniture, when there was a loud shotgun blast.
“This was senseless, this was absolutely unnecessary. Ben was not only a beloved member of the team but was really making contributions but was really making contributions to important areas, he was making a difference, and he was just getting started,” Spencer-Smith said.
“He was working on statistical methods for high intensity sampling type of data for monitoring insulin for diabetics,” Blume added, talking about Lane’s thesis.
Not only have Vanderbilt and the tight-knit East Nashville community lost a member, but Lane also loved to dance with his girlfriend who is a professional ballroom dancer and was an avid cyclist– often biking the airpark and Shelby Bottoms Greenway nearby.
Anyone with information is asked to call Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME or you can submit a tip online by clicking here.