NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Sometimes it has been hard to tell gunshots from fireworks, and that was the case the night of July 4th in Antioch.
Neighbors found a man dead, slumped over the steering wheel of his pickup truck. Police said they’re actively searching for his killer.
“I can't imagine what happened being the 4th of July we wouldn't have heard a gunshot,” said Mike Vaughan, a neighbor.
No one heard the gunfire that killed 23-year-old Jose Luis Morales-Rodriguez.
Metro Police found him slumped over the steering wheel on Amelia Court. A neighbor remembered seeing the truck pull into the cul-de-sac.
“Probably around 10:20 or 10:25, I looked out and saw a truck sitting over across the street, and it was dark, so I couldn't tell how many were in it at that point,” Vaughan said.
Vaughan said the truck didn't belong there. As it turned out, Morales-Rodriguez wasn't alone when he drove up.
Another man was with him, but police said they don't think he was the killer.
“We have located that guy and talked to him,” said Billy Traughber of the Metro Police Department. “I don't believe he's a suspect, but he was not there when police arrived.”
Several neighbors thought the victim was just passed out.
They didn't know he'd been shot until police arrived.
The truck was parked near a stump, but it moved rather far. Police said that could be one of the keys to solving the case, and they'd like to talk to anyone who saw it the night of July 4th before 10:30 p.m.
Police also said they want to know if anyone saw the victim.
“Where he was, who he was with,” Traughber said. “Was he arguing with someone? Was he fighting with somebody? Any information at all, which right now we have very little, would help.”
The victim's 2001 Blue Ford Ranger may stand out to someone, because it has distinct features.
“It is, like I said, the black rhino lining,” Traughber said. “It has kind of custom wheels, a step side, and it has four by four written on the tailgate, which you can't see in the picture.”
It's a strange case that's raised a few eyebrows.
“I don't know,” Vaughan said. “It's just fishy because he had another guy with him, and then that guy left. I don't know.”
Anyone with information on this crime has been urged to contact Crime Stoppers at 615-74-CRIME (615-742-7463).