At the time, the couple were unaware that the driver, Dangelo Dorsey, 29, had just committed a number of deadly crimes nearby, authorities said.
Dorsey opened fire in a moving vehicle, killed one person and injured another, and then jumped out of the car as the traffic slowed, said David Rausch, director of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. While attempting to steal another vehicle, he allegedly shot a woman in the hand and then spoke to a truck driver before shooting him in the face.
The Stevens weren’t aware of this. They stopped after he crashed into their car and their hour-long nightmare began.
“They stopped thinking it was a fender bender, and that’s when Dorsey took them hostage at gunpoint,”
When the ordeal ended later that afternoon, 23-year-old Jordan Stevens was dead along with 28-year-old Darcey Johnson, the man in the first moving car. Four others were injured, including Aileen Stevens.
The suspect forced her to drive to her house
Aileen Stevens, 23, is a kindergarten teacher and is four months pregnant with her first child – a daughter. Her husband worked hard on his construction job to take care of his growing family, said her brother Eliezer Rostran.
The high school darlings attended church together and then spent time with their families. Aileen Stevens’ mother attended the same church and was worried when she didn’t see them that morning. “That’s how she knew something was wrong,” said Rostran.
After Dorsey took the couple hostage, he forced them to drive to their Morrison home, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said. There he allegedly stole two of their guns, swapped vehicles for a Toyota RAV4 and forced them into the vehicle with him.
At one point he took the couple to a location in the McMinnville area and fatally shot Jordan Stevens in front of his wife, authorities said. Then he forced Aileen Stevens back into the SUV and hit the highway, the TBI said.
Jordan Stevens’ body was later recovered along Interstate 24 west near Exit 111-B, Rausch said in a statement.
Law enforcement from several agencies worked to locate the SUV and located it shortly after 3:30 p.m., resulting in a chase that reached speeds in excess of 100 mph. The SUV crashed and turned around 15 minutes later, authorities said.
“At this point, Dorsey took his own life. The female hostage was safely recovered,” said Rausch.
Couple prayed for him during the ordeal, says brother
During the long and terrible ordeal, the couple prayed for the suspect in the vehicle, Rostran said.
“He wanted to release her, he asked, ‘would you pray for me?’ They prayed, Jordan prayed … Some people don’t care about God, but God is good and always faithful, “Rostran said.
After spending a few days in the hospital, Aileen Stevens is now recovering at home, surrounded by her family. She is heartbroken but tries to be strong for her baby. The random act of violence changed their lives forever, her brother said, but they are focused on healing.
She holds on to her faith, her family said, especially the Bible verse Romans 8:28. It says: “And we know that God works in all things for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
“We want everyone to know that my sister does not hate the subject’s actions. She also does not hate the family. She prays for mercy and loving kindness for all families involved,” said Rostran.
The investigators are working to identify a motive
The suspect knew the victims of the first incident involving the moving vehicle, TBI spokesman Josh DeVine said, but did not provide any further information. The other goals seem to be random.
The authorities try to gather information and evidence in what is called a long and complex investigation. They ask anyone with pictures, videos, or details about the case to contact them.
“We are working to identify a motive along with a thorough understanding of the facts of the case, which will in turn be submitted to the attorney general, who has requested our involvement for further review,” DeVine said.
He said the people injured in the rampage should be allowed to recover.
Morrison is about 80 miles from Nashville.