NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A man remained at large Monday after using a hatchet to kill his former boss, who was leading a workout routine at his fitness center, Tennessee authorities said.
Nashville police tweeted that 36-year-old Domenic Micheli will be charged with murder.
They say 46-year-old Joel Paavola was helping clients with a workout Monday morning when Micheli used a hatchet and another bladed instrument to kill him at The Balance Training center, at a shopping center in the Belle Meade community. Paavola had fired Micheli about 14 months ago, police said.
News outlets report police spokesman Don Aaron said the other weapon was either a second hatchet or a large knife. Micheli struck Paavola multiple times and then fled, police said.
“Micheli brutally, savagely attacked Paavola at the front of the business,” Aaron said.
Paavola was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.
In photos posted on the agency’s Twitter account, Micheli appears to be a white man with a dark beard and glasses. Police believe he’s still driving an older model small silver Toyota Prius or Yaris.
The U.S. Secret Service arrested Micheli in April for driving his car to a checkpoint near the White House and refusing directives to move, according to police.
Micheli is also known to have been in Oregon in August 2017, police said.
Paavola, who managed the business, was remembered as a fitness guru who gave speeches about healthy lifestyle choices.
Nashville restaurateur Randy Rayburn told The Tennessean that he worked out with Paavola for a few years at another gym and was heartbroken about his death.
“I went through boot camp twice with Joel,” Rayburn said. “Joel was one of the most enthusiastic and well-rounded people I’ve ever known in my life. He was just a wonderful father and human being.”