Vanderbilt Football Players Injured In Target Shooting

Posted at 8:53 PM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-27 20:50:03-04

A shooting that injured two people outside a Nashville-area Target was part of a plan to retrieve a cell phone that had been stolen from a Vanderbilt University football player. 

The incident happened shortly before 9 p.m. Monday at the store on White Bridge Pike. 

Officials with Metro Nashville Police said two people were injured during an "ill-conceived plan to recover a stolen cell phone." One was struck in the arm, while the other was hit in the leg.

They said Donaven Tennyson, age 19, had put his phone up for sale online. After a prospective buyer expressed interest, the two agreed to meet around 5 p.m. at the parking lot of the Chili's restaurant on West End Avenue. 

Tennyson told police his phone was stolen during the encounter. 

Later that night, Tennyson saw another post online for a phone offered for sale. He recognized the phone as the one that had been stolen. Officials said he created a fake account and offered to buy the phone from the suspect, arranging to meet at the Target parking lot. 

Tennyson and two other football players, identified as 18-year-old O-Montae Daley and 18-year-old Frank Coppet, drove to the parking lot. One of them brought pellet pistol bug, telling police they planned to use it to get the phone back. 

The three teens pulled up next to the seller's grey Buick sedan. Police said Coppet got out of the car, brandishing the pellet pistol. 

A suspect then got out of the Buick with a handgun and shot at the teens. Another suspect in the vehicle discharged a shotgun. The suspects then fled the scene, driving both the Buick and Daley's Toyota Corrola. 

Daley was shot in the leg. Coppet had birdshot wounds to his arms. Both were expected to recover from their injuries. 

There were other customers in the parking lot and inside the store when the shooting happened. 

Metro Police were searching for the suspects. They said the Buick was described as a four-door sedan with dark tinted windows. It also had visible damage to both passenger doors. 

Anyone with information has been asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME (615-742-7463). 

Vanderbilt University has released the following statement: 

"Three Vanderbilt University students were involved in a shooting incident at a Target store in West Nashville. The incident stemmed from a cell phone stolen from one of the Vanderbilt students. Two of the Vanderbilt students suffered gunshot wounds. Our foremost concern is the wellbeing of our students, but it appears their injuries are not life-threatening. The university is monitoring the situation and will determine if any action on the part of the university is appropriate."