23-year-old wanted in armed robbery of Columbia market

(Photo: WKRN)

COLUMBIA, Tenn. (WKRN) – Columbia police are searching for a man they say robbed a market and has a history of being violent.

It happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday when a man pulled to the Twice Daily on James Campbell Blvd. in a white, four-door Lincoln and parked at the pump.

That man–now identified as Donnie Fentress—reportedly walked into the store and pulled a gun on the cashier.

According to detectives, the 23-year-old with a propensity for violence is strangely calm as he buys gas and waits for the cash drawer to open.

Donnie Fentress (Courtesy: Columbia Police Department)

“It doesn’t appear he has a plan. The man didn’t have gloves on, didn’t cover his face, just walked in and decided this is what he was going to do,” said Det. Allen Ervin.

According to police, the mood inside the store is so calm, a customer who comes to the counter doesn’t even realize it’s a hold up.

Police say if he isn’t arrested soon, it could happen again.

“He is definitely a priority,” Det. Ervin told News 2.

Before leaving with a small amount of cash, another employee implores the bandit to rethink his actions.

“He tells the guy, ‘You don’t want to do this. Please don’t do this,’ trying to talk him out of this, which is how calm the situation is for a guy trying to take the money,” Ervin told News 2.

(Courtesy: Columbia Police Department)

Once Fentress reportedly left the store, employees called 911.

“We’ve just been robbed at Trice Daily’s. As soon as they got the money, they went to pump one, thought they were getting gas, and he come in and pulled a gun out and told me to open the register,” an employee told the dispatcher.

“Do you remember anything else with the male who had the gun?” asked the dispatcher.

“He looked like he was high,” the employee said.

A check of Fentress’ criminal history shows an aggravated robbery from 2012 where the then 18-year-old was arrested for robbing a man for $42. According to the arrest affidavit, Fentress was with a group of men who beat a man unconscious, injuring him so badly the victim’s nose, jaw, and ribs were broken.

Police told News 2 Fentress has ties to Nashville, but he’s been hanging in Columbia.Anyone with information is urged to call Columbia police at 931-560-1670 or Crime Stoppers 931-381-4900.