CCW permit holder shoots
Originally ran here
"I-40 shooting involved robbery attempt"
By SHEILA BURKE, The Tennessean Staff
Friday, July 27, 2001
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE -- Wednesday night's
shooting on an exit ramp on Interstate 40 east was the result of road rage that
turned into a botched robbery attempt, police said.
Chaz Ellis, 24, was shot after he pulled a gun
on a driver who was stopped at a red light on the I-40/Old Hickory Boulevard
off- ramp in Hermitage, police said. The driver of the other car, Anthony
Palazolo, 24, Hermitage, grabbed the gun away from Ellis. Palazolo then produced
his own gun and shot Ellis.
Road rage between the occupants of two cars led
to the confrontation at the exit, Metro police spokesman Don Aaron said.
Palazolo told police he was driving eastbound
on I-40 and witnessed a 1973 white Ford LTD speeding, driving erratically and
weaving in front of cars, almost to the point of running them off the
interstate, Aaron said.
''We're really not sure what happened on the
interstate prior to the vehicles exiting.''
The drivers of each car gave conflicting
The driver of the LTD, Jesse Bratcher, 28, told
police that Palazolo was following him too closely. He told police that Palazolo
made an obscene gesture at him, Aaron said. However, Palazolo denies making the
When Palazolo exited the interstate and sat at
the stoplight before turning on Old Hickory Boulevard, the LTD's driver followed
and stopped as well. Bratcher and Ellis cursed at Palazolo, and then Bratcher
walked up to Palazolo's car and slapped him. Ellis pointed a gun at Palazolo and
demanded his wallet.
Palazolo then grabbed the gun, which was
cocked, pulled it away from Ellis and fired his own gun — for which, police
said, he has a legal permit to carry — and shot Ellis.
Bratcher and Ellis fled and tried to make it to
a hospital before the LTD was spotted driving wildly on I-40 west near Briley
Parkway in Donelson.
DUI Officer Steve Beck stopped the car and
called an ambulance. Beck noticed that Bratcher smelled like alcohol and had
watery eyes, Aaron said.
Ellis was taken to Vanderbilt University
Medical Center and was listed in stable condition there last night.
The nature of his injuries was not available
Police found marijuana in the trunk of
Bratcher's car and gave him a breathalyzer test three hours after he was pulled
over. Because of the shooting and the crime scene, police had to wait to
administer the breath test, Aaron said. Bratcher registered .10%, which is
legally drunk, and was charged with driving under the influence and possession
of a controlled substance.
There were no charges filed against Palazolo.
Investigators will present the case to the Davidson County grand jury to
determine whether he should be charged. Police, however, think Palazolo was the
victim, Aaron said.
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