Nashville suspect wanted for brutal attack on former employer

Staff Reports • Jun 5, 2018 at 6:00 PM

Law enforcement agencies throughout Middle Tennessee are on the lookout for accused murderer Domenic Micheli, 36, who, from witness accounts, used a hatchet and another bladed instrument to brutally attack and kill his former employer.

Metro-Nashville police received a call Monday at 6:55 a.m. from Balance Training in the strip shopping center at 5133 Harding Pike.

The investigation showed Micheli went into the business moments earlier and attacked Joel Paavola, 46, who was leading a workout routine. Witnesses reported Micheli, armed with a hatchet and another bladed instrument, cut Paavola several times before he left. Paavola died en route to Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Micheli sped away with his weapons in an older-model small silver Toyota, either a Prius or a Yaris. The car was photographed earlier in the morning by a surveillance camera in the parking garage underneath the strip mall.

Detectives learned Micheli traveled outside of Tennessee recently. He was in Oregon in August and in Washington, D.C. in April. U.S. Secret Service agents arrested him April 27 for driving his car to a checkpoint near the White House and refusing to move.

Anyone who sees Micheli, who is likely still driving the Toyota, should contact 615-862-8600, or a local law enforcement agency.

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