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Hatchet Attack Leaves Gym Owner Dead; Police Seek Former Employee

Hatchet Attack Leaves Gym Owner Dead; Police Seek Former Employee
(Katrina Brown/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Tuesday, 05 June 2018 03:08 PM

A hatchet attack left a gym owner dead, and police are searching for a former employee, Domenic Micheli, who allegedly killed Joel Paavola on Monday morning, according to witnesses.

Paavola, 46, was the owner and operator of Balance Training in the Belle Meade neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee, and typically opened the gym at 5 a.m. each morning, WBRC reported. The stabbing took place at around 7 a.m.

Micheli, 36, is considered by police to be armed and dangerous, and was last seen at an urgent care center on Gallatin on Monday, where he appeared to have an injury to his left leg, WBRC reported. He drove away from the gym in a silver Toyota Yaris, The Washington Post reported.

The attack appears to be related to Micheli’s firing from the gym 14 months ago by Paavola, the Post reported. After the firing, Micheli was in Oregon in August 2017 and was arrested in April at a checkpoint outside the White House when he refused to move his vehicle, the Post reported.

Friends, family and residents of the neighborhood described Paavola, a father of five, as a wonderful person.

"He was one of the nicest, most dedicated human beings," former client and Nashville restauranteur Randy Rayburn told the Tennessean. "Joel was one of the most enthusiastic and well-rounded people I've ever known in my life."

Kevin Brown, co-owner of Music City Golf in the same shopping center as Balance Training, said, "I can't believe that happened right there in Belle Meade because nothing ever happens like that where you guys are located," the Tennessean reported.

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A former employee allegedly killed a Tennessee gym owner in a hatchet attack early Monday, and police are searching for the suspect.
hatchet attack, former, employee, gym
Tuesday, 05 June 2018 03:08 PM
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