Police said in a statement on Saturday that Earnest Woodley, who also goes by Earnest Moore, should be considered armed and dangerous. Police say he shot 34-year-old Nicole Luke and her daughters Friday night before slipping into a nearby wooded area wearing a gray T-shirt and blue shorts.
Police say one of the teens who was shot has been released from Vanderbilt University Hospital. The others remain hospitalized in stable condition.
Police have asked for the public’s help in locating Woodley.
Woodley was convicted of second-degree murder in the 1990s in Shelby County, police said.
Arrest warrants charged Woodley with four counts each of attempted homicide and aggravated assault.
According to a police news release, the shooting happened Friday afternoon in an apartment complex in the city’s Madison neighborhood.
Police said Woodley and Nicole Luke were moving to Memphis when they stopped by Woodley’s cousin’s apartment to say goodbye. They parked two vehicles outside, a U-Haul full of their belongings and a Chevrolet Traverse.
Woodley, Luke and twins Deona and Keona Luke went inside while Luke’s 15-year-old daughter, Kierra Smith, stayed in the SUV.
Woodley’s cousin told police the couple argued inside the apartment and Woodley shot Luke and the twins before going outside and firing into the SUV, wounding Smith, the news release said.
Three other children inside the apartment, including the couple’s 3-year-old daughter, were not harmed.
The police department’s domestic violence division said it has no prior history on the family.
The news release said Woodley’s parole expired in 2010. In addition to his murder conviction, he has a long arrest record in Nashville and felony convictions in Shelby County for aggravated assault and cocaine possession, police said.