Gunman who opened fire during an Easter brunch in Nashville still at large, now on state's most wanted list

NASHVILLE, TN - Authorities are looking for a gunman who allegedly fatally shot one man and critically injured five other people on Sunday, March 31 during an Easter brunch gathering.

According to ABC News, the gunman has been identified as 46-year-old Anton Rucker. Don Aaron, the public relations director for the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department, said that the deadly shooting happened during an altercation between Rucker and 33-year-old Allen Beachem while brunch was being served at Roasted.

As the altercation escalated, Rucker allegedly pulled out his gun and fired multiple shots, killing Beachem. 

Police confirmed that Rucker is a convicted felon. On X, the police department posted, "He has agg assault convictions in Nashville and was arrested in Murfreesboro on felony drug charges last 10/31, and on agg assault and gun charges last August."

The shooting happened around 3:00 p.m. when Rucker opened fire inside of the coffee shop. He struck five people and killed one. At a press conference, Aaron said in a statement, "There was an altercation between two men at Roasted. Sunday brunch was being served. During that time period, the altercation occurred and escalated, very sharply, to one of the men pulling a gun and firing multiple shots."

Aaron continued, "A total of eight people were transported from the scene." Five people were shot, including Beachem, who was fatally shot. Another person suffered a scratch and a pregnant woman went to the hospital for treatment due to a panic attack. Police said that this incident was not a shoot-out and preliminary investigations indicate that the two men fighting did not know each other. 

Rucker fled the scene in a Mercedes GLS 450. Surveillance photos of Rucker as well as the SUV have been released to the public. According to reports, the SUV was found later that night near 26th Ave North and Jefferson Street. Carly Payne, who lives near the coffee shop and saw the aftermath, said, "It's Easter Sunday, everybody's dressed up, last thing you'd expect. My heart was out of my chest. I knew I needed to get inside and then obviously I knew first thing was to call 911."

Rucker arrived minutes before the shooting happened. Detectives are collecting evidence in an effort to figure out a motive for the shooting. Officers interviewed the victims at three different hospitals about what they saw.

Mayor Freddie O'Connell said in a social media post, "Tragically, Easter was disrupted by gun violence in my neighborhood at one of our wonderful small businesses. @MNPDNashville has the area secured and @NashvilleFDEMS has taken care of victims. My heart goes out to those who had their holiday disrupted by gun violence."

According to WSMV, Rucker was out of jail at the time of the shooting on a combined $50,000 bond on the aggravated assault and gun charges from August 2023, and the felony drug charges in October 2023. Rucker also has a criminal record in Davidson County with a rap sheet that is 22 pages long. Some of the charges include gun and drug charges dating all the way back to 1995.

Court records and arrest affidavits show that his first murder charges were filed in 2000 for an attempted homicide at a Hermitage apartment complex. He plead guilty to lesser charges and served a six-year sentence concurrent with another drug case. In another post on X, Mayor O'Connell wrote, "We must continue doing everything in our power at the local level to limit the likelihood and impact of gun violence. We are continuing to increase police capacity, invest in community safety, and working to ensure dispossession of those who should not legally possess firearms."

As of this writing, Rucker is still at large and has now been placed on the state's most wanted list. Anyone with any information is encourged to call police at 615-862-8600. 

 
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Todd

Quit giving plea deals to trash, keep thugs in cages where they belong. Problem solved.

Todd

Quit giving plea deals to trash, keep thugs in cages where they belong. Problem solved.

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