Metro Nashville Police Chief Steve Anderson ordered the creation of a task force to investigate two groups of armed teens believed to be responsible for a rash of violent carjackings and robberies in Nashville.
Chief Anderson said the task force will deploy both overt and covert strategies.
“Nashville and its police department will not tolerate the violent gun crime being exhibited by these teens,” Chief Anderson said. “While we ramp up enforcement strategies, it is time for parents, extended families and other stakeholders to take notice of what is occurring and do their part to stop it.”
Detectives charged 16-year-old Isaiah Lewis with Wednesday night’s robbery of a 22-year-old female Crestmoor Road salon employee who was confronted while taking out the trash at 8:25 p.m. by two armed teenagers.
They allegedly demanded her belongings and pistol whipped her when she refused. Lewis was also being charged with two counts of aggravated robbery by East Precinct detectives. He was accused of taking part in the 8:50 p.m. robbery of a woman at North 12th Street and Forrest Avenue as she was getting into her vehicle.
He was also charged with the 9:25 p.m. robbery of a woman in the 3900 block of Gallatin Pike as she was walking to her car.
Lewis was apprehended at 3 a.m. Thursday after Madison Precinct officers saw a stolen Honda Accord in the area of 310 Old Hickory Boulevard.
Five teenagers were in the car and fled in multiple directions when they saw police. Officers gave chase and set up a perimeter. Lewis was taken into custody.
The other four were not located. A pistol was left in the Honda, as well as potential evidence from area robbery cases.
Investigations continued into three other cases in the Green Hills and surrounding areas last night, including the shooting of a 32-year-old man outside the Green Hills Library on Benham Avenue at 7 p.m.
That victim reported that he was approached by two armed teenagers, who demanded his property. He complied, yet was shot in the upper abdomen. The victim’s wife said he frequently went to the library to study.
At 8 p.m., a 29-year-old man was robbed by two teenagers with guns as he walked along Horton Avenue near Capers Avenue. After getting his belongings, the teens fled on foot.
At 8:35 p.m., two victims, a man and woman, ages 25 and 28, were walking on Benton Avenue when they were approached from behind by two gun-carrying teens with similar descriptions who demanded their belongings. They complied and the teens fled from them on foot.
While detectives work to identify all of the teens involved in the rash of robberies, officers throughout the city continue to be on the lookout for 14-year-old Rico Ransom, the suspected shooter in last Friday afternoon’s wounding of Demario Crowder across from Pearl Cohn High School.
A Juvenile Court arrest order in relation to an outstanding charge of attempted murder has been issued.
Anyone seeing Ransom or knowing where he is staying was asked to immediately contact 615-742-7463 or 615-862-8600. Detectives believe Ransom has at least loose ties to one of the robbery groups.
West Precinct detectives also continued the investigation into Monday’s shooting of a 26-year-old man during an attempted robbery on Highway 100 at Old Hickory Boulevard, and whether it is related to the other robberies. In that case, the victim’s car was struck from behind by a dark gray sedan.
When the victim got out to check on the damage, the gunman, described as a teenager, got out of the passenger side of the gray car and demanded his belongings. It appeared the victim was shot as he attempted to push away from the gunman.
The police department has become increasingly concerned at the actions and attitudes of suspected teenage criminals.
At 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, a 15-year-old who was preparing to gas up a car that was taken earlier this month in an armed carjacking attempted to draw a fully loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol on an approaching East Precinct Flex officer. The officer struggled with the 15-year-old over the gun, ultimately gaining control of it.
The teen ran and was apprehended a short time later by another officer. The 15-year-old and a 17-year-old, who was in the passenger seat of the car, remain under investigation in regard to other crimes.
On Wednesday afternoon, two West Precinct officers, who had just transported a 15-year-old alleged burglar to juvenile detention, were told by the teen, “I empty my Glock when I see you on my block.” One of the officers asked him what he meant.
The teen replied, “I’m going to empty my Glock into your car and (other officer’s name) car and kill your families.”