Two juveniles were apprehended after gunshots were fired Friday evening in the area of West Church Street outside of the area of the 2022 Nashville Blooming Festival, Nashville police Chief Anthony Puckett said in a news release.

Specifically, the gunfire occurred after a man, Elijah Bynum, 19, of Rocky Mount, was detained and cited for carrying a concealed weapon after a festivalgoer at about 8:40 p.m. approached a Nashville police officer about having seen a younger person wearing a black mask and bearing a handgun in his waistband, Puckett said.

Bynum was immediately apprehended after being located at a manned automated teller machine along Drake Street and by the entrance to the Nash County Sheriff’s Office, Puckett said.

And Bynum was found to have a 9 mm handgun with two magazines in his waistband, Puckett said.

Bynum at first gave a false name before providing his correct name, Puckett said.

An officer speaking with Bynum heard the shots fired from the area of West Church and officers, along with witnesses, saw two people take off running, Puckett said.

Officers gave chase, apprehended both persons and found one of them to be a friend of Bynum, Puckett said.

The other person was apprehended in a front yard in the 100 block of Green Street and was found to have in his waistband a 9 mm handgun with an extended magazine that was missing five rounds, Puckett said.

Investigators found five spent 9 mm shell casings, Puckett said.


The first person apprehended in connection with the shooting was released to his mother after evidence showed he had been running because the second person had been firing a weapon at him, Puckett said.

The second person was placed in the custody of law enforcement and of his parents, Puckett said.

Because both persons who were apprehended are juveniles, police are limited by state law about what else can publicly be said about the case.

And Puckett said that no was injured, that this was an isolated incident between people known to each other and that this occurred after the festival was shut down due to rain.

Bynum was detained after the festivalgoer told an officer that after having seen the younger person brandishing a firearm, the younger person responded by immediately concealing the weapon, Puckett said.

The officer relayed that information via Nash County communications and a Nashville police sergeant, assisted by a Rocky Mount police officer, located the younger person, who turned out to be Bynum, still wearing the mask, Puckett said.

Bynum was released after being cited, Puckett said.

The Blooming Festival, which started in 1997, is Nashville’s signature annual event and is timed just in advance of and during the Mother’s Day weekend. The festival includes a carnival, musicians, a parade and vendors.

The 2022 festival is the first since 2019 due to cancellations in 2020 and 2021 due to the spread of the coronavirus.