Deadly Easter shooting suspect was out on bond for another violent crime, court records say

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The suspect in the deadly Easter shooting at a Salemtown coffee shop and restaurant has a lengthy criminal history, according to court records.

Court documents say 46-year-old Anton Rucker, who is currently on the run from police, was out on bond for aggravated assault, a felon in possession of a gun, and three felony drug charges out of Rutherford County from last August and last October at the time of Sunday’s shooting.

This wasn’t one of his first run-ins with the law either.

Rucker has a lengthy criminal history out of Davidson County dating back to 1995, including several felony drug charges, multiple aggravated assaults, and a 2008 attempted murder indictment, according to arrest records.

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Arrest warrants obtained by News 2 say two of Rucker’s aggravated assault charges out of Davidson County came after he allegedly tried to hit police officers with his car during traffic stops in 2007 and 2014.

Witnesses of Easter Sunday’s shooting told News 2 Rucker was arguing with a man he was with inside the coffee shop before pulling out his gun and opening fire.

“I watched the aggressor say, ‘I’ll burn you in here,’ and before you knew it, we instantly knew something was going on because they were arguing back and forth, and the guy literally pulled his gun out of his pocket. He did have it on safety because he had to take it off, and he instantly started shooting,” said one witness who asked to remain anonymous.

Police said 33-year-old Allen Beachem died, and five others suffered non-critical gunshot wounds. Two others, including a pregnant woman, went to the hospital for other injuries related to the shooting, according to police.

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The victim of Rucker’s Aug. 2023 aggravated assault charge out of Rutherford County told News 2 the details surrounding Sunday’s shooting, which stemmed from a verbal argument, sound very similar to his case.

In addition, News 2 uncovered similarities between Sunday’s shooting and the 2008 attempted murder case against Rucker out of Davidson County, which was also triggered by a fight. According to the warrant, Rucker was verbally arguing with two women before he told his wife to get a gun, and then shot and critically injured a different woman.

The anonymous witness to Sunday’s shooting said her family is now traumatized.

“Whether it was Easter, whether it was Monday afternoon or a Friday night, it’s just ridiculous that you can’t go anywhere with your family and have a good time,” the anonymous witness continued. “You shouldn’t have to worry about looking over your shoulder because something is going to happen or that this will be the last time you’ll be around your family.”

Metro police recovered Rucker’s Mercedes near 26th Ave. N and Jefferson St. Sunday night but continue to search for Rucker.

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The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation added Rucker to its “Most Wanted” list on Monday and is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to his arrest. The TBI said Rucker should be “considered armed and dangerous.”

If you see Rucker or know of his whereabouts, you are asked to call MNPD at 615-862-8600 or the TBI at 1-800-TBI-FIND.

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