Vigil held as police search for Christmas road rage gunman


Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 9:51 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Family and friends of Chris Spaunhorst gathered on Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil one month after he was killed in a road rage shooting on I-24 near Nissan Stadium.

Chris was driving home to his wife, Stephanie, and their five children with presents in his truck on Christmas Day, Metro Police said, when the driver of a black Kia Optima fired several shots into his driver’s side door and window. The pickup came to a stop along the median wall and Chris was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he died.

WATCH: Video shows what happened during deadly I-24 road rage shooting

Police said detectives have followed up on multiple promising leads, but have not been able to identify the shooter or track down the car.

“I don’t want it to be a cold case,” Stephanie said about holding the vigil. “I want to keep talking and speaking his name until it is solved.”

“I’ve done a lot of crying,” Stephanie said. “I’m very appreciative of the love, support especially the prayers. I just want to come together and pray that we get some kind of answers soon.”

Chris would do anything for his family, Stephanie said, and loved to fish and coach his children’s baseball teams. He often worked 50 or 60-hour weeks to help provide for his family but always made time to watch his beloved Arkansas Razorbacks.

“I just feel hollow,” Stephanie said. “Half of me is missing. Half of all of us is missing. We are just trying to do the best we can to get through the day.”

Community members fathered in their long-time church to light candles and hold each other to process what has happened. They wiped tears from their eyes as they bowed their heads in prayer calling for anyone with information to come forward to police.

READ MORE: Tenn. father of 5 killed in possible road rage shooting on Christmas

“I think anybody who lives in Middle Tennessee has traveled through that part of I-24,” Metro Police Lt. Brent Gibson said. “This could have been anybody’s family. We owe Christopher and his family closure, and we need the community’s help on this.”

Lt. Gibson said police are certain this was a random road rage shooting, and Chris did not know his killer. He is hopeful someone witnessed the shooting or has heard someone talk about it and will come forward with a new lead.

Anyone with information about the shooting should call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463. You can remain anonymous and help bring closure for the Spaunhorst family.

“The smallest puzzle piece makes a big difference,” Stephanie said. “That is what carries us through this horrible nightmare. I know (Chris) is not going to let this be unsolved.”

Possible suspect car on I-24
Possible suspect car on I-24(Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Nashville Police Department)
Vigil held for Chris Spaunhorst