Guns and Gear

Man Allegedly Slaughtered With Hatchet After Killer Was Denied Gun


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Molly Prince Politics Reporter
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The Tennessee background check system was able to keep an alleged killer from purchasing a firearm in Nashville, but it couldn’t prevent a crime from occurring with another type of weapon.

Domenic Micheli, 36, tried to buy a handgun from a federally licensed firearms dealer only four days before he allegedly slaughtered his former boss at Balance Training in Belle Meade with a hatchet and a knife, Jason Locke, acting director at the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), told The Tennessean. (RELATED: Firearm Background Checks Never Stopped In Florida)

Red flags emerged after the firearms dealer ran an instant background check on Micheli and he was denied a purchase. Locke declined to say exactly why Micheli was flagged and ultimately turned down, only noting that the TBI “saw some things.”

However, Micheli was arrested by the Secret Service in Washington D.C. on April 27, which prompted a court ordered mental health check and prosecution, reported Fox-17. He was arrested without incident after he drove up to a checkpoint near the White House and refused to move his car when ordered.

Micheli was arrested on the evening of June 5 after he allegedly killed Joel Paavola, 46, his former boss at the gym. Paavola hired Micheli as a trainer at the gym, but fired him over a year earlier “due to his attempting to steer clients to another competing facility that he was supposedly contemplating starting,” said Don Aaron, a spokesman for Metro Nashville Police.

There were more than 500,000 background checks in Tennessee during 2017, according to the TBI. Background checks prevented a purchase for 20,000 of them.

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