Suspect arrested in murder on Whites Creek Pike of UPS security guard

Gun Darden Tossed.jpg
Posted at 12:25 PM, Feb 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-19 13:25:15-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The suspect in the murder of an off-duty security guard at the UPS facility on Whites Creek Pike Tuesday night has been arrested, according to Metro police.

Detectives apprehended Robert Darden, 19, Friday night shortly after he arrived at an apartment complex in the 200 block of Tampa Drive in South Nashville.

As officers approached Darden, he ran away and ditched a handgun. After a brief chase on foot, the officer caught Darden, recovering the gun afterwards.

Gun Darden Tossed.jpg
The gun Darden tossed as he was chased by MNPD officers.

The victim in the homicide, 21-year-old De'Terrius Smith, had gotten off from work at the UPS facility at 3 p.m. Tuesday. When Smith returned shortly before 4:30 p.m., a black Nissan Sentra driven by a woman, carrying Darden as her passenger, pulled up next to Smith's car.

Darden exited the Sentra and got in Smith's car. Smith was shot, before he got out of the car and collapsed. Darden got back in the Sentra, and the woman drove away.

The purpose of the meeting between Smith and Darden is still a mystery, and is still being investigated.

Further investigation has shown that Darden paid the woman - who is an acquaintance of his - to drive him to the UPS to meet someone. The woman said that after the shooting, Darden ordered her at gunpoint to drive away. He also told her not to say anything about what happened, on the threat of killing her. Darden got out of the woman's car on the side of a street shortly afterwards, and walked away.

Darden is in custody without bond on charges of criminal homicide, aggravated kidnapping and evading arrest.

At the time of the murder, Darden was free on a $15,000 bond for a felony aggravated assault charge that is against him for pulling a gun on his mother in March 2021.

Robert Darden.JPG
Robert Darden, 19