Police seek convicted murderer in shooting of mother, 3 teens - WSMV News 4

Police seek convicted murderer in shooting of mother, 3 teens

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Photos courtesy James Bendall Photos courtesy James Bendall
Earnest Woodley (Photo from Metro PD) Earnest Woodley (Photo from Metro PD)

Authorities in Nashville and Memphis are seeking a man previously convicted of murder after police say he shot his girlfriend and her three daughters Friday at an apartment complex in the Madison area north of Nashville.

Earnest Woodley, also known as Earnest Moore, 39, is wanted in connection to the shooting, and police said Woodley has a previous conviction for second-degree murder in the 1990s in Shelby County in addition to several other assault and drug arrests.

Investigators say Woodley and his girlfriend, Nicole Luke, were preparing to move back to Shelby County when they first stopped Friday afternoon at the Brinkhaven Apartments, located at 135 Brinkhaven Ave., to say goodbye to a relative.

Some kind of argument then broke out, and Woodley allegedly shot Luke and her twin 14-year-old daughters inside an apartment. Police said he then shot Luke's 15-year-old daughter as she sat outside in an SUV.

Police said Saturday that the victims continue to recover from their wounds, and that one of the teens has been discharged from the hospital. The remaining three victims remain in stable condition at Vanderbilt Medical Center.

"First, I heard two gunshots - me and my mom did - so we looked out the window and we heard the other four gunshots. We went outside and saw the man running past our house, so we went over here to see what had happened and we saw the car. There was a lady in the front seat and all the windows had been shot out," said witness Courtney Hiles.

Woodley then fled the scene, and police said he was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt, blue shorts and was barefoot. He is 5'11" and weighs 190 pounds, and police said he should be considered armed and dangerous.

Police are using K-9 officers and the department's helicopter to search the area for Woodley. Anyone who sees him is urged to immediately call police at 862-8600.

Woodley is wanted on four counts each of attempted homicide and aggravated assault.

Three other children who were at the scene - two boys and a girl - were not harmed in the shooting.

Woodley's Nashville arrest history, under the last name Moore, consists of driving on a suspended license, resisting arrest, handgun possession, criminal trespass and misuse of vehicle registration charges.

Woodley (Moore) has multiple felony convictions in Shelby County for offenses including second degree murder, aggravated assault and cocaine possession.

His parole expired in 2010, police said.

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