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Tennessee man, teen runaway charged with murder of gas station clerk

Police charged a Nashville, Tennessee, man and a missing 15-year-old girl in Tuesday night’s “brutal” murder of a store clerk.

The Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) disclosed on Twitter Wednesday that Daniel Clark, 28, and Trinity Quinn were charged with criminal homicide, aggravated robbery, and attempted auto theft.

Police spokesman Don Aaron alleged that the pair intended to steal John Daniel Stevens’ vehicle Tuesday evening. After speaking with the Exxon store clerk, Clark is said to have raised his gun and fired it. From there, Aaron claimed the 28-year-old pointed the weapon at Stevens’ head. It is believed that Clark shot Stevens multiple times after Stevens attempted to confiscate the gun or knock it out of the way.

The Tennessean reported that Clark supposedly pulled the victim’s body from behind the counter and went through his pockets. Though the suspect recovered keys, Aaron said they didn’t work for any car parked at the gas station. Surveillance cameras caught Clark and Quinn exiting the station.

Clark was placed on the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s (TBI) “Most Wanted” list before his arrest.

Quinn had been missing from Dayton since Monday morning. The 15-year-old’s disappearance resulted in TBI issuing an Amber Alert Wednesday morning.

Authorities found Quinn and Clark behind some trees in West Meade early Wednesday after a dump truck driver spotted the teen on the side of the road, according to WKRN. The spokesman claimed that a pistol was recovered from Clark’s backpack.

Running out of gas, police alleged that Clark and Quinn arrived in Nashville late Monday night or early Tuesday morning and parked a half mile away from the Exxon store.

Police said the two have apparently known each other for years and planned their escape for several weeks.

“Both individuals are under investigation for a homicide. Both are homicide suspects. It is this department’s belief that [Quinn] had the opportunity to flee. We do not see any indication she was held against her will,” Metro Nashville Police Department spokesman Don Aaron said on Wednesday.

The Exxon store is closed until further notice, according to Tri Star Energy, the company that owns the store. A GoFundMe was created to help pay for the slain man’s funeral expenses.

A Dayton detective determined that Clark had been grooming the girl for some time. Despite social media posts indicating that Clark was a family acquaintance, police believe their relationship was “more than a friendship.”

Aaron said, “They [Quinn’s parents] were notified [about the shooting] during the night so they wouldn’t be shocked when they turned on the news this morning and saw that.”

Clark is held in jail on $250,000 bond while Quinn is being held in juvenile detention.

Spokesperson Dorinda Carter pointed out that the district attorney has 90 days to decide whether Quinn will be prosecuted as an adult.

 

[Featured Image: TBI/MNPD]