‘That night was pretty terrifying’: Rutherford County man’s car shot 7 times on I-24

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RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A drive on Interstate 24 turned into a near-death experience for a La Vergne man.

Last week Dusty Mendenhall was driving home from work Friday afternoon when another driver began firing shots into the backside of his car. There are seven visible bullet holes.

“As quick as someone could pull the trigger, that’s how quickly they were coming,” Mendenhall said.


RELATED: Authorities investigate series of interstate shootings in Rutherford County, 2 arrested

Mendenhall says he spotted a car swerving in and out of traffic, which then pulled into his blind spot and began firing shots into the back of his gray Nissan.

“You could almost feel it in your chest. It was like really hard compressions in your chest. Like you was at a target range or something,” Mendenhall said.

Miraculously none of the bullets hit him, and nobody else was inside the car.

“I have two kids you know, and one is an infant, and the car seat sits right there by the back door and the base was still in there. I was just lucky that no one was in the car because one even came and hit the back seat there,” Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall says when the bullets stopped flying he pulled over onto the shoulder of I-24, creating space between him and the shooter. Then he followed the car from a distance to get the license plate number.

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Deputies later arrested 24-year-old Caleb Hancock and charged him with attempted first-degree murder.

“He was a complete stranger. Never seen the car. Never seen him before,” Mendenhall said.

This is one of at least five roadway shootings that Rutherford County deputies have responded to since March. In a press release, deputies say two of them remain unsolved. Mendenhall is relieved that the man who allegedly fired shots at him is behind bars.

“I don’t know what triggered the guy to be honest. I don’t what could be going on in somebody’s day to grab a gun and go to the interstate and start shooting,” Mendenhall said. “I’m just glad I made it home. That night that was pretty terrifying!”


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Hancock is being held on a $250,000 bond at the Rutherford County Jail.

Investigators don’t think the five roadway shootings are related, but if you know anything about any of the shootings you can call the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office at (615) 898-7774.

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