News

Actions

Gun Used To Kill 14-Year-Old Stolen 21 Years Ago

Posted at 8:55 PM, Nov 20, 2015

Police have said that the gun allegedly used to kill a 14 year old in a public housing development was a stolen weapon.  

Officials with the Metro Nashville Police Department said it was stolen more than two decades ago, but resurfaced during the murder of  Treyonta Burleson at the J.C. Napier Public Housing Development.

A special agent with the ATF said most firearms used in crimes are more than 10 years old.

In a Nashville courtroom on November  10, 2015, a prosecutor asked a witness, "You told the defendant Ms. Smith to put the gun down?"

The witness answered, " Yes, Ma'am."

It was the murder case of 18 year old Antwana Smith. She was accused of killing 14 year old Treyonta Burleson in the J.C. Napier Public Housing Development.

During court testimony, about evidence in the case there was a lot of talk about the gun. Metro Police said a semi-automatic 380 caliber pistol was used in the crime.

When police traced the serial number on the gun, they found it was reported stolen 21 years ago. It was taken from a car parked at what was then the Opryland Theme Park.

ATF Assistant Special Agent In Charge Jack Webb said it's no telling where that gun has been.

Webb said, "It could only be recorded once as in your case 21 years ago, and it could have changed hands 10, 15, 20 a hundred times either through legitimate private sales, through thefts."

Webb said it's not unusual for stolen guns to be used many years later in a crime.

ATF statistics show in 2014 5839 firearms connected to crimes in Tennessee were reported to the ATF.

The agency reports the average age of the gun used in a crime was more than 10 years old, which makes it harder to trace.

Webb said, "It makes it a little more difficult, because we have to do some gum shoe work and put the detective hat on, and we have to chase that down and we have to do multiple interviews to find out where that gun went and how many hands were changed."

In the case of Antwana Smithn no one could say where or when she got her gun.

Police will test the ballistics and enter what they find in a national data base to see if the gun was used in another crime.

It's been 21 years. Who knows where that gun had been.