A Belmont University student is in critical condition after being hit in the head by a stray bullet while walking on a trail near the Nashville campus, officials said.
A suspect is in custody in the shooting, which happened Tuesday afternoon as Jillian Ludwig, 18, walked on a track in Edgehill Memorial Gardens Park, the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department said in a news release.
Shots rang out around 2:24 p.m., when a man on a street near the park opened fire on a moving car, police said.
Ludwig was shot and immediately collapsed but wasn’t found until about an hour later when someone passing by spotted her and called police, the release said. She was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in “extremely critical condition.”
The shooting serves as another example of the enduring trauma of gun violence in the US, where everyday activities like going to work, bowling with friends or celebrating a holiday have been violently interrupted by gunfire. Innocent bystanders often suffer the consequences, including a pregnant woman in Massachusetts who was hit by a stray bullet while riding a bus, killing her unborn child and a 10-year-old in California who was killed by a stray bullet while playing with his cousins.
In Nashville, police used video surveillance and witness information to identify the 29-year-old suspect, they said. “He admitted to firing shots during an interview with detectives at police headquarters. He claimed to have given the gun involved to another person,” the news release said.
The suspect is charged with aggravated assault and evidence tampering, police said. He is being held on a $260,000 bond for those charges, according to jail records. He also faces a charge for failure to appear in court Friday on charges related to a September carjacking, according to the news release.
It is unclear whether the suspect has an attorney; CNN reached out to the Davidson County Public Defender for comment on his behalf.
Edgehill Memorial Gardens Park is about a half-mile from the Belmont University campus, where students, faculty and staff were joined by city leaders Wednesday at a prayer service for Ludwig. A service was also held in her home state of New Jersey.