Fake iPad Scam Leads to Shooting - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Fake iPad Scam Leads to Shooting

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By Adam Ghassemi

GOODLETTSVILLE, Tenn. – $300. That's what was racing through the minds of people who had just been ripped off at a Nashville gas station.

Police say 29-year-old Jamara Gater and 25-year-old James Spann offered to sell two iPads to 22-year-old Casey Frazier at a Nashville gas station near I-65 and Harding Place.

21-year-old Thanh Tran, 24-year-old Nikeyta Harris and 22-year-old Christopher Owens were all with Frazier when the deal happened.

Fraizer bought two, but then discovered the devices were really just paper, stickers and glass.

"They weren't tablets, iPads or anything at all. It was just something made to look a little bit like an iPad," said Goodlettsville Police Chief Richard Pope.

Pope says the four drove around until they caught up with Gater and Spann heading north on I-65. They followed them to a gas station off the Louisville Highway exit where Tran and Frazier confronted the men.

Tran is accused of yelling, pistol whipping Gater and more. "[Tran] pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and began firing at the suspect," Pope said.

That's about the time William Cothron was driving by with his fiancé and children.

"I didn't know who he was shooting at. Whether he was shooting at me, the car in front of me, I didn't know. My only concern was my kids," Cothron said.

Cothron, an off-duty Davidson County Sheriff's Deputy, told his family to get down and grabbed his personal weapon for protection until officers arrived.

Gater and Spann left the scene, but later returned. One of the bullets put a hole in the side of their rented Chevy SUV. Investigators found Tran's weapon thrown on the roof of a neighboring gas.  An officer arrested him running way just after the shooting.

Police believe Gater and Spann, both from Mississippi, were moving across the region pulling this same fake iPad scam. The pair won't face charges here because there wasn't any evidence of fake iPads in their SUV after the shooting. The incident also happened in Metro, another jurisdiction.

"It appears they're moving around the Southeast pretty frequently," Pope said believing the pair has been in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kansas.

This time they appear to have picked the wrong person, who now faces charges, for losing a few hundred dollars and nearly costing so much more.

"You put other lives in jeopardy such as my family or anybody else driving by or even walking by. If you feel like you were done wrong let the authorities take care of it," Cothron went on to say.

Tran is the only person charged in this case. He already has a criminal history, which is why Goodlettsville detectives think he simply didn't call the police in the first place.

Email: aghassemi@newschannel5.com
Facebook: facebook.com/NC5AdamGhassemi
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