Today is Thursday, July 27, 2017

Robbery suspect crashes, captured in Donelson

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DONELSON -- A man suspected of robbing the Sudden Service convenience store Friday in Lebanon was arrested in Donelson after leading authorities on a high-speed chase on Interstate 40 West.  

The suspect, identified as Shawn Sullivan, 21, of Knoxville, faces a number of charges as a result of the incident.

The robbery occurred at 1:50 p.m., at the Sudden Service on South Cumberland Street. Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said officers arrived quickly on the scene and obtained a good description of the suspect and the vehicle as it left the convenience store headed south toward the interstate.

Wilson County Sheriff’s Department and Mt. Juliet Police Department were notified to be on the lookout for the suspect and vehicle. Bowen said a Sheriff’s Department deputy spotted the vehicle, a 2003 black Nissan Altima, headed toward Nashville on I-40. The suspect, Sullivan, apparently did not realize he was being followed at first but when he did, he sped up on the interstate with the deputy following.

Sullivan exited the interstate at Donelson Pike, headed north, also at a reported high rate of speed of more than 60 mph.

Sullivan struck a blue Toyota Prius that was turning left onto Donelson Pike off Royal Parkway. He bailed out of the Altima less than a mile away in front of a Taco Bell restaurant where he allegedly tried to car-jack a customer.

Metro Nashville Police Department Spokesperson Don Aaron said Sullivan, unsuccessful in the car-jacking attempt, then ran across the street to the Ruby Tuesday parking lot and then to the Walgreens parking lot on the corner of Donelson Pike and Elm Hill Pike where a MNPD officer found him hiding under a SUV with a semi-automatic pistol.

There were three people in the Prius that was struck, a 39-year-old man, his 66-year-old mother, and his 9-year-old daughter. Aaron said the woman and the child were transported by ambulance to Summit Medical Center in Hermitage for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The man was not injured.

Sullivan, who was in the back of a police car, did not appear to be injured. An employee from the Sudden Service convenience store was brought to the scene in Donelson by LPD to identify the suspect, which she did.

“The tag and the car were stolen,” Bowen said, referring to the Altima driven by Sullivan and the tag on the vehicle.

“He is wanted in West Tennessee, also,” the chief said, adding the suspect would be charged in Metro as well.

“Obviously, it started with us,” Bowen said in reference to the robbery.

Charges are pending against Sullivan in Wilson County. Aaron said he is charged with attempted car-jacking and vehicular assault in Nashville as a result of striking the Prius with the car he was driving.

Aaron added that Sullivan was facing charges of robbery and aggravated assault in two West Tennessee counties – Gibson and Henderson.

The vehicle, the 2003 Altima, was reported stolen on Dec. 19 in Lexington, TN.

“He was a person who needed to be taken into custody,” Aaron said, adding the suspected showed he “had disregard for the safety of Tennesseans,” noting he was charged with crimes in West Tennessee and now in Middle Tennessee.

Editor Jennifer Horton may be contacted at

An earlier version of this article incorrectly said this incident occurred on Thursday. It occurred on Friday, Dec. 27, and that has now been corrected.


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Lebanon Police Department, robbery, Shawn Sullivan
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