South Precinct Detectives seek to identify Interstate 24 gunman

South Precinct detectives are working to identify the gunman in an older model white Ford sedan traveling on I-24 West near Hickory Hollow Parkway Saturday night who, for reasons unknown, fired multiple shots toward two other westbound vehicles, striking a 7-year-old girl.

According to witnesses, the gunman fired the shots while hanging outside the Ford’s front passenger window at 10:40 p.m.  The child, Kayla Velazquez, was sitting in a rear passenger seat and was struck by a round that entered her cheek and exited her nose.  She was transported to Vanderbilt University Medical Center where she is in stable condition.  The other three occupants were not injured.  One of the passengers reported that they were driving home from a Walmart in Smyrna when they heard multiple booming noises. They continued driving until they realized Kayla had been struck and pulled over to notify police. A second vehicle was also struck by a round in the driver’s side, but none of the three occupants, a couple and their 8-month-old baby, were injured.

The suspect Ford sedan continued westbound on I-24 after the shooting.  The gunman is described only as a black man.  Another passenger, possibly a white man, was seated in the back.

None of the victims in either vehicle reported any incidents prior to the gunfire.

Anyone who has information about the shooting is urged to contact the Emergency Communications Center at 615-862-8600 or Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.  Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward.  Persons can also send an electronic tip by texting the word “CASH” along with the message to 274637 (CRIMES), or online at