Nashville, TN -- The search continues for the two gunmen who killed a teenager in front of his family during a violent overnight home invasion.
Police now say they believe the suspects were targeting the wrong home.
The two gunmen kicked in the back door of the townhome on Capitol Point just before midnight. They demanded money while holding the four family members at gunpoint as they forced them out of their bedrooms.
Ja'Donte Thompson, 17, and his mother, stepfather and grandfather were inside the home during the incident.
Thompson reportedly tried fighting back against his attackers, which why police believe they shot him. Police said there were obvious signs of a struggle, including a mattress that was flipped over.
Thompson's stepfather, 41-year-old Joseph Patton, was pistol-whipped during the attack.
According to police, Thompson was shot in the chest. He was rushed to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he later died.
Officials have confirmed Thompson was a student at Hillsboro High School.
Metro Nashville Public Schools released a statement Wednesday morning, saying that Thompson "had model behavior and was a good example of an aspiring leader."
MNPS is saddened to learn about the tragic death of a 17-year-old Hillsboro High School student. He enrolled at Hillsboro this fall and previously attended East Nashville Magnet School. And though he wasn't at the school long, he had a positive impact on his classmates, teachers and staff. He planned to join Hillsboro's DECA chapter and baseball team. Teachers said he had model behavior and was a good example of an aspiring leader. This is a tragic case of senseless violence that has saddened all of us here at Metro Nashville Public Schools, and particularly the staff and students at Hillsboro and East High Schools. The district is providing grief counselors to support students and faculty. Our deepest sympathy is extended to the family during their time of grief.
Police said they are still working to figure out why the suspects chose this home. Both gunmen left without taking anything from the house.
The suspects are described as two men in their late 20s or 30s. One man was wearing a red beanie hat and a red hat. He appeared to be intoxicated, according to police. The other man was wearing a mask and all-black clothing.
Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463. Callers can remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward. Tipsters can also send information by texting the word "CASH" and their message to 274637 or online at www.nashvillecrimestoppers.com.
A resident of the community, which is partially low-income housing, said he is concerned about his safety. He said he doesn't feel like management or MDHA is doing enough to prevent situations like this one from happening again.
"This is something that has continuously gotten worse, and they haven't done anything about it ... and that has been my message to them," said neighbor Art Boissiere. "When are you going to do something about the crime in this community?
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