Man in body armor accused of firing into West Nashville birthday party as children take cover

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 40-year-old man wearing body armor fired multiple gunshots into a West Nashville apartment during a birthday party, striking multiple walls and windows, as adults helped children take cover, according to an arrest warrant.

Metro police said they arrested Joshua Starling on eight counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon Monday evening.

The warrant states eight people were inside of an apartment on Susannah Court around 11:30 p.m. the night of April 16 for a birthday celebration.

Starling knocked on the door of the apartment and stood in the threshold wearing what appeared to be body armor and holding a handgun, according to a police report.

Joshua Starling
Joshua Starling (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

A witness told officers that Starling said “some words” and was pushed out of the doorway and ordered to leave. The witness then reported hearing multiple gunshots, so she said she helped gather the children inside of the apartment and they all took cover, as bullets were fired around them.

Windows and walls inside of the apartment were hit by gunfire, as well as multiple vehicles in the complex’s parking lot, according to police.

Witnesses reported another man had also shot at the apartment. Detectives said surveillance video showed that second suspected gunman, who has not been identified.

Starling also faces a charge for being a felon in possession of a weapon. He was booked into the Metro jail Monday night and jailed in lieu of a $135,000 bond.

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