Shots fired during Kroger parking lot robbery; Lebanon man arrested

(Mug: Wilson County Sheriff's Office)

LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Lebanon man is charged with aggravated robbery and reckless endangerment, accused of firing a gun in a crowded grocery store parking lot.

According to a police report, it happened at the Kroger on West Main Street Friday night when two men were robbed. The men didn’t want to share their names but did speak to News 2 about what happened.

“It really didn’t frighten me. Honestly, adrenaline was pumping. I think the man is a coward; he is a coward,” one of the men, a 33-year-old veteran and father of five, told News 2.

The other victim is 23 years old, also a father and Lebanon resident. He told News 2 he wasn’t scared either and called 911 to direct police to the suspect’s vehicle.

“I didn’t want this guy to get away with what he was doing, you know. It could have been my girlfriend in that car with the kids. It could have been anyone else,” he said.

(Photo: WKRN)

Christian Filson is now charged. Police say the 20-year-old was wearing a bandana over his face while pointing a .22 caliber pistol at the men.

Video obtained exclusively by News 2 shows what police say are the victims pulling into the parking lot. It’s not long before Filson’s silver Hondo pulls beside them.

In the video, police point out that customers are everywhere.

“And he had a little itty bitty gun, not a big a gun, it was little, so in my head, I am thinking I can take this guy, maybe get this gun from him with little risk of getting shot,” one victim said.

The two men threw $15 out the window toward Filson as instructed, according to police. Filson reportedly then took off—and the victims followed.

Surveillance shows the Honda leave the parking lot as the victims’ Mercedes follows behind.

Before leaving the Kroger, police say Filson leans out the passenger window and fires a shot at the men.

(Photo: WKRN)

“He shot at the car. It kind of made me more aggravated, more mad,” one victim said.

In the 13-minute call to 911, the men told police exactly where the alleged bandit was as their chase winds through parking lots and down many neighborhood streets.

It’s in the middle of this call that the second man tells dispatchers the man in the passenger seat has fired a second shot at them.

“He is shooting at us right now. He is shooting at us right now,” he told 911.

After a lengthy pursuit, Lebanon police make a felony stop on the vehicle taking Filson and his female driver into custody.

According to the police report, a live .22 caliber round was found near the passenger seat, a $10 and a $5 bill was found in the passenger side floorboard, and a red and white bandana was located on the back seat. All items, including the cell phones, were taken and placed into evidence.

The report also says the two groups met each other briefly at the Circle K gas station near the Kroger. In the report, one of the men commented on the female driver’s shoes, calling them pretty. That’s when the victims went to Kroger and that’s when police say the silver Honda parked beside them.

The suspect was released on a low bond. As of this moment, the female driver has not been charged.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Filson’s attorney sent us this statement.

“I firmly believe these allegations are totally unrelated to any type of robbery. Christian is a full time student, with a full time job, money in the bank and no addictions of any kind. He has the full trust of his employer over money and other valuables. He was not robbing anyone for financial benefit. The full details are still being developed but it is not what it appears to be. This is a fine young man, from a wonderful family who is being portrayed as something he is not.”