Three teenage girls turned into the driveway of Mr. William Cherry around midnight because they were lost and low on gas. The driver says she turned into a driveway at the suggestion of the 911 dispatcher that she had called for help. Cherry, fearing that the occupants had come to rob him, allegedly fired a warning shot and then three shots that hit the car. Allegedly, the last two shots were fired as they were backing out of the driveway.
Mr. Cherry received pretrial diversion in a criminal case; the charges against him were reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.
The Tennessean now reports that the girls have sued him for emotional injuries arising from the incident. At least two of the girls have sought counseling.
Now you might think that Mr. Cherry lives a hillbilly existence in a shack in some hollow in rural Fairview. Nope. Mr. Cherry is a prominent business person in Williamson County. He is the founder of Auto Value, Inc. He reportedly owns several parcels of property in Williamson County; the home where the shooting occurred had a market value of almost $1,500,000 in 2001.
Nevertheless, apparently Mr. Cherry did not have a phone in his house. Why do I say that? Because if he had a phone and was worried about being robbed it seems to me that he would have called the police. I mean, he had a gun just in case the threat was real. And he obviously wasn’t worried about using it.
“Shoot now, ask questions later” may have been a code of the West but it isn’t the way do things in this part of Tennessee in the 21st century.
By the way, this is not my case. What I know about it I know only from news accounts. Those accounts may not be accurate; we will have to depend on the civil justice system to ferret out the truth. In fact, Mr. Cherry may well have a perfectly legitimate reason for firing three shots at a vehicle with people in it, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it is.