A homeless man who allegedly and repeatedly struck a married Brentwood couple with a machete Sunday said the COVID-19 shutdowns prompted him to lash out and attack the two individuals.
Officials at the Nashville Rescue Mission also infuriated the man, Kelvin D. Edwards, 35, (pictured above) when they turned him away from their facility.
This, according to a statement Nashville officials put out Monday.
Authorities charged Edwards with two counts of attempted murder for what they call an “unprovoked and random machete attack” Sunday as the husband and wife waited at the office of a storage facility on Fifth Avenue South.
Edwards is a convicted felon, according to the statement.
Nashville Rescue Mission spokeswoman Cheryl Chunn told The Tennessee Star Monday that facility operators rejected Edwards for a reason.
“All guests that are requesting a bed are expected to have a COVID-19 test done before entering. He was not part of the original 400 people tested in March. Because he was not, we need to have all guests be tested, and we asked him to do so. The testing is being done at Nissan Stadium, and we directed him there,” Chunn said in an email.
“If and when he got the test, he could come back to the Mission with the slip stating that he received a test. He would have been given a bed ticket in a dorm with other guests awaiting the results of the test. This is standard procedure during this pandemic. We have 400 or more men here and cannot risk someone coming in without knowing if they are positive for COVID or not.”
Chunn said the Mission accepts all people who come there, unless they are “of harm to themselves or others.”
“We do not do background checks at the Men’s campus and therefore have no idea about their criminal record,” Chunn said.
“In fact, he has been a guest with us in the past.”
Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron told The Star the following in an emailed statement Monday night:
The victims are recovering from their very serious wounds inflicted by the 18-inch blade machete. Edwards is being held in the Metro Jail without bond.
According to the press release, Edwards entered the office and, without warning, repeatedly struck the victims with his machete, even after they were on the floor badly bleeding. Authorities sent the two victims, Kevin Craft, 55, and Leanne Craft, 50, to Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Six MNPD officers used their special training in trauma care to apply multiple tourniquets to the victims in an effort to control the bleeding and save their lives.
“The investigation, which is being led by Detective Brent Fisher, shows that Edwards, who is homeless, had a bin at Public Storage, which apparently contained the machete. In an interview with Detective Fisher, Edwards spoke of his anger over the COVID-19 shutdowns and his inability to get into the Rescue Mission,” the press release said.
“It appears Edwards retrieved the machete from his bin and explained that he decided to demonstrate his anger in the violent attack on the Crafts, who he did not know. The Emergency Communications Center received a 911 call about the attack at 2:47 p.m. Officer Phillip Claibourne was on the scene quickly and had Edwards in custody at 2:50 p.m. After the attack, Edwards walked out of the storage facility, threw the machete down, and stood in the street raising his hands as the siren of Officer Claibourne’s approaching police car got louder.”
Edwards, who on Sunday carried an Arkansas driver license with a Little Rock address, has been in Nashville since at least 2016, the year of his first arrests here. He was convicted of felony vandalism in 2017 and, while in jail, was charged with deliberately spitting on two Davidson County Sheriff’s deputies. They prosecuted him on two counts of assault. He was convicted on both charges, the press release said.
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