A cross, several wreaths, and chiming bells make up a memorial outside Shelby Golf Course, honoring the life of a 71-year-old employee gunned down in the parking lot, one year ago.
Metro police said George Carpenter left the East Nashville business just before 7 p.m. on Sept. 15, 2019. As he walked into the parking lot to get into his truck, he was shot and killed.
“It happened within 15 seconds,” his son, Jason Carpenter told News 2. “They didn’t even bother getting out of their car.”
“When he was killed, they didn’t even touch him,” he recalled “He still had money in his pockets and everything on him. He had $82 and like 65 cents on him. He had two bags of groceries in his hands, and he hadn’t even unlocked his truck.”
Returning to Shelby Golf Course days prior to the anniversary of his father’s death, Jason Carpenter explained, “he would have hated this memorial because it was all about him and he never liked that sort of thing.”
“He was six-foot-three. He had red hair and it was usually down to his shoulders, you know? It’s not like a case of mistaken identity,” he said.
Metro Detective Mike Windsor said other employees who were inside Shelby Golf Course heard the gunfire, but when they raced outside, they only saw a vehicle drive off, as they called 911, hoping to save the life of their friend and coworker. While there are a few leads, the detective said the lack of concrete vehicle description and surveillance has made it tough to track down the killer.
“Someone knows something, and usually in these kinds of cases, people overhear things,” Detective Windsor said.
“I would have thought that by now, somebody would have either inadvertently said something to someone else, or there would be video footage of them coming or going,” Jason Carpenter added.
While he wants his father’s killer to be captured, Jason Carpenter explained an arrest will never be enough: “It helps to know and have somebody be accountable for it, but what’s been taken from me, I can never get back.”
His father was planning to move in with him and Jason Carpenter had to celebrate his own birthday, just one day after losing his dad.
“There’s no reason my father shouldn’t be here today, except for someone’s cowardly act,” he said.
Jason Carpenter said a fundraising page has generated a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the gunman.
“You know something about my dad, you can make a cool five-grand,” he explained.
Anyone with information on George Carpenter’s murder is urged to contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME.
News 2 is digging deeper into Tennessee’s most notorious unsolved cases.