4 Murders, 4 Days and the Unsettling Nashville Murder Rate

Map Photography: Nashville City on a Road Map

Map Photography: Nashville City on a Road Map

Something is definitely up with Nashville these days…

The Music City has experienced several murders in the last few weeks, and four murders in four days has Nashvillians (and Nashvillains) shaking their heads — and locking their doors.

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Related: Watch video coverage of the murders on the WKRN web site

It is not an isolate string of events: The Tennessean reported back in February that Nashville ranked second last year for the highest percentage increase in murders, and violent crime increased in the first quarter of 2016. (The only city with a higher percentage increase in crime was Cleveland, which saw its murder rate double in 2015.)

Last year’s 79 represents the highest Nashville murder rate since 2005’s high of 97 homicides. 2014 was a low, with only 41 murders. The problem is that 79, obviously, is a near-double murder rate from the preceding year.

A road rage incident resulting in a homicide and a few other gun-related murders represent what is becoming sadly commonplace here in Nashvegas. Not to mention that a man named John Morrow was shot inside a club called Kilimanjaro last weekend.

The most bizarre of the murders relates to Ryan Trent, whose death was first to be the result of a car crash early Wednesday morning. His SUV was spotted crashed into a row of trees near Briley Parkway. Turns out, he’d been shot.

The violence began when Teddy Grassett, a tourist from California, was gunned down in front of the Country Music Hall of Fame early Sunday morning. It was a horrifically random murder, and the events of that evening are still coming to light. Larry, Grassett’s friend, recounted the story for the local news.

From an article on News Channel 5:

“Looking behind me my friend wasn’t there, that was it, and then I saw all the cops,” Larry said. “I was running to the lights, and I saw them. I saw my friend on the ground, and everyone was doing their jobs trying to put him back to life.”

Related: Watch Coverage of the Grassett Murder Here

What is most unsettling is the number of murders that go unsolved. I don’t have the stats on the most recent homicides, but 33 of the 79 Nashville murder s from 2015 went unsolved.

According to WKRN, the Nashville murder rate is at 55, two up from last year at this point. Let’s hope the murder rate slows down, or else we’ll end up topping the 79 murders that occurred in the Music City last year.


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