NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A West Nashville gas station clerk was shot and killed Tuesday night, and Metro police say a man and 15-year-old girl will both be charged with criminal homicide in the case.
Police say 28-year-old Daniel Clark and the teen girl Trinity Quinn, who was reported missing out of East Tennessee on Monday and the subject of a brief AMBER Alert, were arrested after an hours-long manhunt late Wednesday morning.
The two were found in a wood line in West Meade after a dump truck driver spotted Quinn standing on the side of the road around 10:15 a.m.
“He drove down to the corner to a convenience market and called the police department,” says Metro police spokesman Don Aaron.
Police had been searching for the two after John Stevens was shot to death around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at a Nashville Exxon gas station.
Authorities say Clark and Quinn entered the store and the teen appeared to shop before Clark pulled out a weapon and shot Stevens multiple times.
Police call the 58-year-old man’s death a “brutal homicide,” saying after he fired his gun, Clark went behind the counter, pulled out Stevens’ body, and went through his pockets.
According to authorities, Clark took a set of keys before he and Quinn went into the parking lot and attempted to take the car they thought belonged to Stevens. When the keys didn’t work on the door, Clark shot out the windows and tried to steal it. Police explain when the keys didn’t work on the ignition, the two fled on foot.
A press release states after interviews with the two, detectives believe they entered the Exxon market to force Stevens to give up his car keys so the two could flee the area.
The deadly shooting spurred a massive manhunt and Clark was added to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s “Most Wanted” list shortly before he was taken into custody.
A criminal homicide warrant was issued before his arrest. Police have since recovered a handgun that was in a backpack that was in Clark’s possession at the time of his arrest.
Detectives believe they spent the night in the woods of West Nashville before being apprehended.
He and Quinn both face charges of criminal homicide, especially aggravated robbery and attempted auto theft.
Police say in a press release it appears Clark and Quinn have known each other for a number of years and have been planning to flee Dayton, Tennessee, together for the past several weeks. They reportedly arrived in Nashville late Monday night or early Tuesday morning and parked at the West Nashville Walmart.
They tell police the van they were traveling in ran out of gas. The two stayed in the van in the Walmart parking lot and walked around the area Tuesday before going to the Exxon market, which is in eyesight of the store. Neither had any connection to Nashville.
West Precinct Commander Marlene Pardue says the arrests came after a lot of hard work and teamwork by law enforcement, combined with the tip from a citizen.
“It’s not CSI. I mean, it’s not like on TV. It’s a lot of hard work and diligence,” Pardue says.
Police also say Quinn’s parents were notified overnight they believed the teen had been involved in the incident.
“They were notified during the night so they wouldn’t be shocked when they turned on the news this morning and saw that,” Aaron explains.
Clark’s abandoned vehicle has since been found in a Walmart parking lot where it was first seen on Tuesday. That vehicle has since been impounded.
Exxon released a statement early Wednesday afternoon. It says in part, “We are greatly saddened by this incident and express our deepest sympathy to the victim’s family.”
The independent owner of the store also released a statement that says:
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic and senseless crime. We are cooperating with local authorities to provide whatever information or support they need in their investigation. The safety of employees is our highest priority. We take security measures in our stores and conduct safety training for managers and employees.”
They add a chaplain is helping those affected through the situation. “Our priority is to support the family and our employees during this difficult time.”
The gas station is closed until further notice.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help with John Stevens’ funeral expenses. Click here to donate.