Nashville police hunting for a two-man robbery team suspected in three slayings and a string of gunpoint hold-ups that have plagued the city were questioning two men in connection with the crime spree on Monday.
Metro Nashville Police Department officials said Monday afternoon that they were questioning Lacory Cody Lytle, 24, and Demontrey M. Logsdon, 20, in connection with the murders of Bartley Teal and Jamie Sarratonio on Friday outside a Nashville nightclub. The men are also to be grilled in the Aug. 14 killing of Kendal Rice at a city bus stop, police said.
Logsdon was taken into the custody at a Nashville residence Monday afternoon by the department's Gang Unit and U.S. Marshals, police said. Lytle later walked into a police precinct and turned himself in for questioning, police said.
Lytle and Logsdon were "identified in the present investigations as persons who need to be questioned based on certain surveillance images, recovered physical evidence and observations by MNPD officers," officials said Monday.
The major break in the investigation came just hours after police confirmed to ABC News that detectives investigating a car robbery that occurred on Aug. 12 believe it is connected to the deadly crime wave.
A 26-year-old South Nashville man told police that he was confronted by two robbers after he stopped on Highway 70 South to check on a dog that had run in front of his vehicle, police officials said.
The victim, whose name was not released, said he was driving on the highway about 3:20 a.m. when the dog crossed his path, police said. When the man turned around to see if he hit the dog, he saw another vehicle traveling in the opposite direction swerve toward the animal, he told police.
The man said that when he stopped and got out of his vehicle to check on the dog, he was approached by two men, one armed with a gun, police said. According to the victim, the two robbers ordered him to run, then stole his car, a 2017 Dodge Journey.
Police said the victim's vehicle was recovered on Friday in an alley on the west side of Nashville.
Chief Anderson this morning chaired a briefing with the team investigating Friday's murders of a man & woman outside Cobra Bar & last Tue's murder of a man on Alta Loma Rd. Strong leads are being actively pursued. pic.twitter.com/2wcAjbg59o— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) August 20, 2018
"Strong leads are being actively pursued," Nashville Police said in Twitter post on Monday.
Mayor David Briley stressed during a media availability on Monday that despite the deadly robbery spree, Nashville is still a safe city.
The latest twist in the investigation came as mourners gathered for the funeral of 33-year-old Teal, who was shot dead on Friday outside The Cobra bar in the city's East Hill section.
Teal was out with friends celebrating his birthday when they were confronted by two robbers who gunned him down, even after he told them he had no cash, police said. Teal's friend, Sarrantonio, 30, was also fatally shot by the robbers, police said.
"These are just two senseless cold blooded homicides," Don Aaron, spokesman for the Metro Nashville Police Department, said during a news conference on Friday.
Nashville police said they suspect the killings of Teal and Sarrantonio are connected to Rice's slaying on Aug. 14. Rice, 31, was waiting for a bus to go to work at Vanderbilt Medical Center when two suspects shot him during an attempted robbery about 5 a.m., police said.
All of the robberies have occurred in the early morning hours and witnesses said the killer bandits fled the crime scenes in a dark sedan.
Police said Lytle and Logsdon are both convicted felons. Lytle was convicted of aggravated assault in May and sentenced to five years probation, while Logsdon was convicted of robbery in November 2017 and sentenced to five years probation, records showed.