Victim ID'd in Gallatin homicide now being investigated by TBI; - WSMV News 4

Victim ID'd in Gallatin homicide now being investigated by TBI; suspect dead

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Jonte Bender (Courtesy: Gallatin Police) Jonte Bender (Courtesy: Gallatin Police)
GALLATIN, TN (WSMV) -

Gallatin Police have identified the victim of a shooting on Saturday morning and turned the investigation over to the TBI, officials said Sunday. 

Ja'Darrius Williams, 18, was identified as the victim of an apparent homicide at the Econo Lodge on West Main Street early Saturday morning. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Another victim, 18-year-old Caleb Williams, was transported to Vanderbilt Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries. 

His suspected killer, Jonte Bender, was apprehended just before his death Saturday evening after he was spotted by officers with the Goodlettsville Police Dept. who gave chase on I-65 North. 

Bender crashed his car during the pursuit and was found n the vehicle with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

The suspect had been on the run for most of the day after police issued a warrant for his arrest for the homicide, attempted homicide, and a nearby carjacking that happened just before 9 a.m. at the Gallatin H&R Block on Nashville Pike.

On Sunday, officials announced that 18th District Attorney General Ray Whitley requested the TBI take over the investigation. 

TBI released a statement on their investigation on Sunday:

At the request of 18th District Attorney General Ray Whitley, TBI Agents are investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting death of Jonte Bender (DOB 1/29/98) that occurred Saturday night in Goodlettsville. Preliminary information indicates the shooting was self-inflicted and occurred while Bender was being pursued by the Millersville Police Department. Bender was pronounced dead at the scene. The investigation remains active and ongoing. 

Officials have not yet commented or confirmed if Williams' death is in any way connected to a fatal domestic shooting last week in Gallatin when a man named Corey Williams allegedly murdered his estranged wife.

If you have any information concerning criminal activity in the City of Gallatin, please contact the Gallatin Police Department at 615-452-1313.

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