A college freshman was critically wounded after being shot in the head while walking on a track in Nashville Tuesday afternoon, and the suspect involved had previously been deemed incompetent to stand trial for another charge.
Jillian Ludwig, the 18-year-old Belmont University student, had been walking in Edgehill Memorial Gardens Park when police say shots coming from the Metro Housing and Development Agency housing across the street struck her. She wasn't discovered until an hour later.
BREAKING: An 18-year-old female Belmont Univ student from NJ was very critically wounded by a gunshot Tue afternoon while walking on the track in Edgehill Community Memorial Gardens Park. The gunfire came from public housing across the street. Investigation active. pic.twitter.com/cClG6jSZfF
— Metro Nashville PD (@MNPDNashville) November 8, 2023
At around 2 a.m. Wednesday, police publicly identified Shaquille Taylor as the suspect, who they believe was shooting at a car when a bullet hit Ludwig.
The 29-year-old was taken into custody at 10 p.m. Tuesday and has been charged with aggravated assault and evidence tampering for allegedly shooting the student.
"He admitted to firing shots during an interview with detectives at police headquarters," authorities with Nashville police said. "He claimed to have given the gun involved to another person."
Taylor was last arrested Sept. 21, according to police, after he was in a grocery store parking lot driving a truck that had been previously carjacked by two men in ski masks on Sept. 16. He was charged with felony auto theft and was subsequently released on bond. He failed to appear in court on that charge last Friday. The court issued a failure to appear warrant.
Earlier this year, Taylor was charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, but those charges were dropped.
In a statement, the Davidson County District Attorney's office said, "Three court-appointed doctors unanimously testified that Mr. Taylor was incompetent to stand trial. State and federal law prohibit prosecution of persons found to be incompetent, so therefore Judge Angelita Dalton was mandated to dismiss the case. Because the doctors did not find Mr. Taylor met the standards for involuntary commitment, he was released from custody on May 19."
Currently, Taylor is being held in the Davidson County Jail on a $280,000 bond.
This story was originally published by Emily West, Hannah Urban and Tony Sloan at Scripps News Nashville.
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