East Nashville Hangout Turns Into Defensive Fray, Shots Sent Flying

by Vern Evans
crime scene

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A group of men hanging out in an East Nashville, Tenn., housing complex first turned into a pistol-whipping robbery attempt before becoming a full-on a bullet-flying defensive fracas. The details of the event in numerous outlets were as muddled  and shady as the likely group involved. In the end, however, police have corroborated enough to be investigating the death of one individual in the apartment as a justified defensive shooting.

WKRN, Fox 17 and other local news outlets report 47-year-old Deshawn Baker invited David Mitchell, 35, and Dijon Simon, 33, (a guy named after a type of mustard) into his apartment. There was at least one other man, Mario Sowell, 47, at the apartment. Somewhere in the early Friday evening gathering, Mustard, um, I mean Dijon Simon, began pistol whipping the apartment’s resident, Baker, as part of his attempt to rob him. Mitchell also pulled out a gun.

Baker took exception to being knocked senseless in his own apartment and fought back. As he and Simon struggled for the gun, shots began flying in the apartment. Mitchell, who despite having a gun in his hand that was never fired, was fatally struck by Baker who apparently at that point had control of the gun. Baker’s friend, Sowell, was also hit.

Authorities by then were en route, and when they arrived, they found Mitchell, who was transported to a local hospital where he died. Sowell traveled to the hospital on his own for treatment where he remained in stable condition at the time of the news reports.

Meanwhile, Simon fled the scene. Interestingly, so did Baker, the apartment’s resident. But he soon showed up at police headquarters where he was interviewed and released on the grounds of his self-defense claim after police consulted with the city attorney.

Two guns were found at the scene, including one that had been reported stolen in 2021.

And what about the pungently monikered pistol whipper? Dijon Simon was later found, also suffering from a gunshot wound, and was taken to a hospital where was also in stable condition. Simon, who according to court records has already served time for his part in a previous homicide, has a lengthy criminal record that includes multiple weapons charges and acts of violence. No additional details were available, including if there are any pending charges against Simon in this latest incident, but police were still investigating.

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