LA VERGNE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A 16-year-old La Vergne High School football player is behind bars in Rutherford County, charged with plotting to kill his parents, police said Thursday.
Two others, a 16 and 19-year-old, were also charged in the case.
Police Chief Ted Boyd said officers were called to the teen’s home on Academy Way in La Vergne shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday night amid reports of a shooting.
Upon arrival, they found the boy with gunshot wounds to his shoulder and hand.
Through further investigation, detectives learned the boy had conspired with the 16-year-old and 19-year-old Jeremy Martin, to murder his mother and father.
Police were unsure if the hit was going to be carried out on Wednesday night or why the 16-year-old ended up being shot.
They do know the doorbell rang and the 16-year-old answered. Three shots were fired and the youth was struck twice.
Chief Boyd said, “When he answered the door, he opened it, saw somebody, whether he knew them or didn’t want to talk to them, he started to started to shove the door back, I believe one of them blocked the door partially and another person then shot through the door three times and struck him twice.”
The teen was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville where he was treated and released.
The boy’s father and two three-year-old children were in the home at the time. The boy’s mother was not.
No one was else was injured.
The teen was arrested following an interview with detectives and charged with criminal conspiracy to commit first degree murder.
Chief Boyd said Martin and the other 16-year-old were also arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy to commit first degree murder.
Police said they were unsure who actually pulled the trigger Wednesday night and said the investigation was ongoing.
Boyd said there were at least two more juvenile persons of interest they planned to interview and additional charges were likely.
When asked about a possible motive, Chief Boyd blamed “bad choices.”
He said in recent months the boy was “getting into bad company of bad people,” his parents were trying to turn the situation around and he chose not to listen to their “good guidance.”
“He chose violence instead of going the good way,” the chief said.
Police said text messages and phone calls implemented the teenager in the murder-for-hire plot.
His name wasn’t released but he was referred to a popular and well-known football player at La Vergne High School.
Friends of the teen told Nashville’s News 2 they were shocked to learn of the allegations.
“I don’t know why he would do that. He wasn’t like that, no one knew him as that type of person,” Kristin Hughes said.
Darius Montgomery said that he used to play football with the teen.
“I would never think he would do something like that. He’s a good guy. I never thought he would stoop this low,” Montgomery said, adding, “Part of me still doesn’t believe he would do something like that.”