Christopher Sparks moved to Nashville to trade in a culinary career in Chicago for a government job. He wanted to be closer to his brother, Jason, his sister-in-law, and his nephew and niece.
“The last time we ever spent together, we ate tacos together and drank a beer,” Jason Sparks, Christopher’s brother, said. “And he gave me this big hug, which was so unlike him. And he said ‘I love you’. And I said ‘I love you too.’”
September 28, 2016, they got a phone call they will never forget. Jason’s wife answered the phone. “We rushed the kids through dinner, got them to bed. She went downstairs and told me it was the medical examiner,” Jason Sparks said. “And I remember thinking oh my God, the medical examiner. What hospital is my brother at? And it just didn’t make sense.”
A reality that didn’t make sense at the time for Jason, and still doesn’t make sense to this day. “I messaged him on Facebook messenger. I looked back to our last message, and I said please respond to this, please answer my message,” he added, “And I believe I tried calling him, too. And obviously, that was a waste.”
Christopher Sparks was driving home on his lunch break. He worked in Metro Center and was heading to The Nations neighborhood to let his dog out. But what happened next, Jason Sparks believes cost his brother his life.
“My brother was one of those people that if you were speeding or driving erratically, he would honk at you or yell ‘hey, slow down.’ I mean, that’s who he was,” Jason Sparks said.
Police believe Christopher Sparks got into a heated argument with a person or people who were inside of a silver Chevy Impala with dark-tinted windows. Sparks was heading southbound on Ed Temple boulevard in a red Honda Accord.
Shots were fired near the intersection of Buchanan Street just after 12:30 p.m. The suspect’s car turned down Buchanan Street, headed east, while Sparks’ car rolled through the intersection before coming to a stop.
“I’m like hey, don’t do it. You know, you never know who that other person is or what they’re capable of. And that’s what happened to Chris, he yelled at the wrong driver. And that person apparently felt after a block it was time to end his life,” Jason Sparks said.
A wound that won’t heal until the Sparks family has answers.
“If I could find whoever did this, I don’t want revenge, I don’t want them to suffer, I just want them taken away so they can’t hurt somebody else. Because if you’re nuts enough to pull a gun out to shoot somebody for honking at you like that, then what else can you do?” Jason Sparks said. “And more importantly, you messed up my kids. You took away their hero.”
Every year, the family renews their vow of a $25,000 reward for anyone who can lead police to Christopher Sparks’ killer.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call our partners at Nashville Crime Stoppers at (615) 74-CRIME.