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Nashville police: Murder suspect caught after carjacking, kidnapping

The Tennessean (Nashville) logo The Tennessean (Nashville) 2/21/2021 Brett Kelman, Nashville Tennessean
a man looking at the camera: Antwan Churchwell, a murder suspect, is accused of taking hostages while attempting to escape police on Saturday night. © Provided by Metro Public Health Department Antwan Churchwell, a murder suspect, is accused of taking hostages while attempting to escape police on Saturday night.

A murder suspect who allegedly stole a car and held two passengers at gunpoint in an effort to escape police was arrested Saturday after a high-speed car chase ended with a crash into a brick wall, the Nashville Metro Police Department announced.

Antwan Churchwell, 28, is a suspect in the killing of 24-year-old Mayte Aguirre, who was fatally shot while a passenger in a car on Glenrose Avenue on Feb. 1. Police allege Churchwell shot Aguirre from the back seat of the vehicle.

Police said they spotted Churchwell while searching for him at an apartment building on North Natchez Court off Nolensville Pike around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. Churchwell was allegedly carrying a gun at the time, and when officers entered the building to confront him, he fled.

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Police say Churchwell ran to a nearby convenience store, grabbed a man who was exiting his vehicle, tossed the man aside, jumped in the car and sped off. Churchwell took hostage two people who were in the back seat — a 31-year-old woman and a 16-year-old girl — by pointing a gun at them and ordering them not to use their phones, the police department said in a news release.

"Given the danger Churchwell posed to the victims, and knowing that he was wanted for murder, officers initiated a pursuit of the vehicle," the release said. "Churchwell drove at speeds in excess of 75 (miles per hour) into oncoming lanes of traffic and the wrong way on a one-way street.  He wound up crashing into a brick wall at Trimble and Chestnut Streets, where he bailed from the car and continued to flee on foot."

Police said a team of officers with a police dog were able to take Churchwell into custody after a foot chase. 

Churchwell is now facing potential charges of homicide, carjacking, aggravated kidnapping, child endangerment, felony evading arrest and unlawful gun possession, according to a news release from police. The two passengers in the crashed car were not injured, according to the news release.

As of Sunday afternoon, Churchwell was held in the Davidson County jail and scheduled to make his first court appearance on Wednesday. He does not appear to have an attorney yet.

Brett Kelman is the health care reporter for The Tennessean. He can be reached at 615-259-8287 or at brett.kelman@tennessean.com. Follow him on Twitter at @brettkelman.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Nashville police: Murder suspect caught after carjacking, kidnapping

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