A 72-year-old Nashville man shot and fatally wounded a man in self-defense last week during an attempted robbery.
A second male assailant fled with the mortally wounded suspect after the shooting.
“They didn’t know who they were messing with,” Robert James Johnson told WKRN News 2 “They messed with the wrong person that day.”
Johnson was ambushed after trying to do a good deed Wednesday afternoon by helping a young woman living on the streets who later was arrested for facilitating the crime. Molena Holt, 26, asked Johnson to drive her to Springfield, Tennessee, and Johnson agreed. She asked that he first stop at Madison Manor Apartments so she could pick up some clothes. Police say that after she got out and walked behind a building, the two men allegedly approached Johnson, still in his car, and demanded money at gunpoint, punching him in the neck and taking his wallet.
Johnson took out a handgun from his pocket and fired, fatally wounding Randall Caradine, 46, of 12th Avenue South, according to a Metro Nashville Police Department press release. The second unidentified suspect drove the wounded Caradine to a nearby auto repair shop and told employees to call 911. He pulled Cardine from the vehicle and left him behind and took off. Caradine was taken to TriStar Skyline Medical Center where he died.
During an interview with authorities, Holt said she owed Caradine and a second man $30 for a drug debt. She was jailed on a $100,000 bond. Holt has previous convictions for drug possession and prostitution.
No charges have been filed against Johnson. The investigation is ongoing.
Witnesses to the attempted armed robbery told WKRN that Johnson was terrified after being attacked.
“He was shaken up man and, you know, he couldn’t do nothing,” said John Bruton, noting that Johnson had to have someone call the cops for him.
But later, Johnson sounded confident about having pulled out his gun when attacked. He fired just one shot and he shot to kill, striking Caradine in the chest.
“I’m sorry I didn’t get the other one,” Johnson said. “If I would have got out the car, I would have.”
Johnson said he was the victim of a similar robbery two years ago on Trinity Lane. He vowed after the incident to never be robbed again.