Market Owner Gunned Down In Store - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Market Owner Gunned Down In Store

Classie Wilson Classie Wilson
Ronald Wilson Ronald Wilson

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The owner of a Nashville market was shot to death in her store Monday afternoon

Customers found Classie Wilson, 70, owner of Cahal Market, behind the counter and called 911.

Police said Wilson had a gunshot wound in her chest.

Witnesses told police a man entered the store about 40 minutes before Wilson's body was discovered.

"She was always there for the community," said Wilson's son Ronald Wilson.

Wilson said his mother never had ill will for anyone.

"This was too nice a person to have happen to," he said. "She always tried to help anyone out."

Sally Webb, a customer, said Wilson was generous.

"Why would somebody do something like that?" asked Sally Webb, a customer. "She would have given them whatever they wanted. They should have just asked and she would have given them whatever they wanted."

Detectives believe a fight over cigarettes preceded the shooting.

"The owner refused to sell the cigarettes and he left agitated," said Ben Ward, a Metro detective. "He was seen by another person in the community pacing in front of the store."

Police said the suspect is a regular customer who was familiar with Wilson, who often offered customers a "buy now, pay later" approach.

Witnesses said he was later seen pacing outside the business with a pistol. Several gunshots were heard. Wilson was also armed.

Wilson had been known to help neighbors with utility bills.

Ronald Wilson said he will remember his mother's humor.

"Mom had a very dry wit and would say something out of the blue," he said. "You'd stop, look at her and go, 'Ok. That was funny.' And just start laughing."

Her family said Classie Wilson and her husband operated the market for 27 years. It was not decided Monday night if her husband would reopen the store.

Police are looking for a young black man with a light complexion, He is approximately 6 feet 1 inch tall. He has a bald head. He wore a blue bandana, a white T-shirt and baggy blue jean shorts.

Anyone who knows the suspect's identity is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME. Callers may remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward.

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