Police seek to ID three accused in shooting of Lyft driver, sexual assault of another

Posted at 1:47 AM, Oct 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 23:50:53-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville police released surveillance photos of two men wanted for questioning in connection with a violent crime spree Friday night.

Police said the string of crimes began just before 7 p.m. when a Westin Hotel employee was robbed at gunpoint by two men wearing ski masks while on a break on Ninth Avenue South.

The suspects used the victim's stolen phone to order a Lyft ride at 8:10 p.m. from the 1300 block of Ninth Avenue North to Opry Mills Mall. The driver of this Lyft ride was not robbed.

About an hour later, the suspects used the stolen phone again to order another Lyft. Police said a woman driving the Lyft was sexually assaulted and robbed by three suspects after driving them to the 1200 block of 11th Avenue North.

Just before 11 p.m., a man reported that he was approached by a gunman in the 1600 block of Knowles Street and forced to drive to Kroger to withdraw money from an ATM inside. When the victim came back outside, the suspect was gone.

Police said the gunman then ordered another Lyft using the stolen phone back to Knowles Street, where he attempted to rob the driver at gunpoint. The woman used pepper spray on the gunman, who then shot her in her arm and foot.

Read more: 'When he put a gun to my head, I tried not to overreact' Lyft driver speaks out after being shot by passenger

The suspect ran and requested another Lyft in the 1600 block of Dr. D.B. Todd Jr. Boulevard. Police said the driver's gray 2014 Honda Odyssey minivan was then carjacked and has not yet been found.

Metro Nashville police released the following photos of the two suspects wanted for questioning. If you recognize the men, call Crime Stoppers at 615-754-7463.

Lyft released the follwoing statement in response to the crime spree:

“Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and we take incidents like these incredibly seriously. We're in touch with law enforcement and will continue to support their efforts. We have also been in touch with the drivers to connect them with dedicated support."