The untold story of what happened Monday when a masked gunman approached a west Nashville shopping center is nothing short of steel nerves, heroism and good neighbors.
To make matters worse, it may not have been a robbery but an actual murder attempt.
Several officers and the Metro SWAT team responded to Direct Auto Insurance, in the 100 block of White Bridge Road, where the suspect was seen with a long rifle around 4 p.m.
While nobody really knows how they, their co-workers or their neighbors would react in a similar situation, it's no doubt they have been tested at the Four Square Shopping Center, and they passed.
Tim Stinnett was back at work at Direct Insurance on Wednesday, and he was all by himself just like he was Monday when the masked man dressed all in black ran toward his office door.
Stinnett took cover until he had an opportunity to make a quick break out the door behind the gunman. He then ran to the nearby State Farm Insurance office for help from his good neighbor, Tim Hill.
"Tim is our friend," Hill said.
There, Hill not only quickly called 911, but he also had office personnel start calling to warn the other businesses in the shopping center.
When Hill saw some kids come out from the nearby textbook business, he yelled for them to go back inside.
And that's not all. Hill saw an elderly man outside of the dialysis clinic struggling to get to his van, so he actually asked a police officer to cover him as he helped the man get to his van.
"A gunman in this day and age, you don't know what someone's going to do," he said.
It was a harrowing day no one wants to see happen again, but it's also a day everyone in the shopping center will remember proudly as an example of grace under pressure and courage in the face of terror.
Surveillance video from inside Direct Insurance shows the gunman leaving shortly before officers arrived. He was driving a silver Ford Crown Victoria or Mercury Marquis. Anyone with information on the case is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME.
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