Mt. Juliet police step up in fight against stolen guns

Special Reports

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The sudden wail of a siren, a sign of trouble, and an urgent need for officers racing to provide that help.

“We were notified by Metro Nashville police that a stolen car that was taken in an armed carjacking had entered the city,” said Mt. Juliet Police Captain Tyler Chandler.

Two men in their 20’s, Ja Keno Jenkins and Brandon Wilson, were on the run with a stolen gun and a vehicle they carjacked in La Vergne. They were determined to get away.

“We knew they had a firearm in the vehicle, we knew they pointed that firearm at someone and took their car, and now they’re in our city,” said Chandler.

The 9mm handgun, loaded with an extended magazine, was taken in a car burglary in Nashville in 2017.

Now, in the hands of two dangerous suspects and in a car reaching speeds of 120 miles an hour on the highway, putting hundreds of lives in jeopardy.

“Our officers are going to go after them – we’re either going to chase them out of the city or we’re going to apprehend them,” said Chandler.

A single gun crime threatening innocent people. A single gun crime leading to more crime across three cities.

Police pursued Jenkins and Wilson along I-40 and eventually east to 840 all the way to Stewart’s Ferry Pike.

Finally, Jenkins and Wilson tried driving between two cars in traffic, causing all three to spin out and crash into a rock wall along the interstate.

“You can see the connection – where it doesn’t matter where we are in the area – there’s not a magic wall or gate that prevents them from coming into the city,” said Chandler.

Nor is there a way to predict where a stolen gun will turn up next. This weapon was used to violently steal a car. That weapon could have been repeated during the pursuit or worse.

“You have people who have a history of violence obtaining firearms and then going out and using those firearms to commit more violent crimes,” said Chandler.

It won’t stop, so neither will police.

Too many lives are at stake.

News 2 digs deeper into the disturbing trend of stolen guns, the impact on the area and the effect on crime rates. Watch our special reports “Guns of Nashville” all day Thursday in every newscast. Plus, stay tuned for a half-hour special Sunday, September 22 at 4:30 p.m. Click here for more.

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