Nashville Police Warn Residents To Be On Guard After Two Killings, String Of Shootings

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NASHVILLE (CBS) —  Nashville police are warning local residents to be on guard as the search for two suspected killers intensifies.  Other shootings in the same area of East Nashville over the past week have shaken the community. Officials are trying to determine if the crimes are connected.

“These are two just senseless, cold-blooded homicides,” said Don Aaron, public affairs manager of the Metropolitan Police Department of Nashville & Davidson County.

The latest in a string of random and possibly-connected shootings led Nashville police to make an unsettling warning to residents: Stay in groups, and be careful.

Bartley Teal and Jaime Sarrantonio killed during robbery Friday. Metro Nashville Police photo.

“It’s a huge coordinated effort to bring these killers to justice,” said Commander David Imhof of Metropolitan Police Department of Nashville & Davidson County.

In just over a week, police say four innocent people have been shot in the same East Nashville area. The first was on August 8 when a  39-year-old woman was shot while walking her dog. The gunfire left her paralyzed.

On Tuesday, 31-year-old Kendall Rice was gunned down and killed during a robbery while walking to catch a bus to work.

And then early Friday morning, 30-year-old Jaime Sarrantonio and 33-year-old Bartley Teal were killed during a robbery when they left a convenience store with two friends after a night at the Cobra Nashville bar. The killers took off.

Teal was killed on his birthday. Those who knew him said he had an amazing soul. Colleagues described Sarrantonio as having a compassionate and joyful presence

Police are now looking for this late-model Chevy, and at this point have only a vague description of the suspects: Two black men, one with dreads.

They say the duo dumped the stolen belongings from Friday morning’s murders in a north Nashville alley, leaving neighbors here on edge.

Police told CBS News on Saturday that they believe robbery was the motive in the two most recent cases. And while they have not officially connected all of them, they are not ruling anything out. They’re also increasing patrols in the areas where these shootings happened.

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