MNPD chief orders task force to combat surge in violent crimes by teens

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson ordered the formation of a multi-component task force to address a string of violen...

Posted: Feb 16, 2018 1:05 PM
Updated: Feb 16, 2018 1:05 PM

Metro Police Chief Steve Anderson ordered the formation of a multi-component task force to address a string of violent crimes in Green Hills and other nearby neighborhoods perpetrated by two separate groups of teens area in the last week.

The operation will employ both overt and covert strategies to bring the teens responsible for multiple auto thefts, violent carjackings and robberies.

"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."

On Wednesday night, a group of teens shot a man outside the Green Hills Libary. The victim says two armed teens approached him and demanded his belongings around 7 p.m. He complied, but they still shot him in the abdomen.

Less than two hours later, another group of teens pistol-whipped and robbed a 22-year-old salon employee taking out the trash less than a mile away from the first, unrelated incident.

The 16-year-old suspect in that armed robbery and assault was apprehended, but police are looking into a number of other incidents around Nashville as well.

News4 spoke to Green Hills residents Monday about a list of other incidents they've reported on NextDoor and to police in their neighborhoods.

Police say two other incidents occurred nearby in roughly the same timeframe.

At 8 p.m., a 29-year-old man was robbed by two armed teens as he walked along Horton Avenue in Edgehill. After getting is belongings, the teens fled on foot. At 8:35 p.m., a couple walking on Benton Avenue in Melrose were approached by two similarly described armed teenagers and were robbed.

"We have an issue right now with these young teenagers committing very violent crimes, and this police department is not going to put up with it," said MNPD Spokesman Don Aaron. "We're dedicating an incredible number of resources to get it to stop. We're arresting young people, teenagers with guns, one-by-one-by-one, but there are seemingly more to take their places."

In addition to identifying suspects in this rash of burglaries around town, officers are also pursuing 14-year-old Rico Ranson, the teen suspected of shooting 17-year-old DeMario Crowder across the street from Pearl-Cohn High School last week.

"Is he still armed at this moment?" Aaron said in reference to the wanted teen, "We have to presume that he is, but we don't know for sure."

West Precinct detectives are also looking for the teen who robbed shot a man on the side of Highway 100 on Tuesday evening during a "bump and rob" incident.

Overall, officials say the department is increasingly worried about the actions and attitudes of these violent teen criminals.

On Tuesday, officers attempted to take two teens driving a stolen car into custody when one, a 15-year-old boy, pulled a loaded gun on the officer.

While being transported to juvenile detention, the 15-year-old teen told officers, "I empty my Glock when I see you on my block."

When officers asked him to clarify, he said, "I'm going to empty my Glock into your car and (other officer's name) car and kill your families."

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