Cameron Griffith was shot at what was described as a discount tobacco convenience store in Lebanon, Tennesee, on Sunday, December 17, just eight days before Christmas. After what an eyewitness says was a confrontation between Griffith and numerous other parties, the sound of gunfire was heard. A friend of Griffith stated that the 19-year-old asked to be driven to the hospital after sustaining gunshot wounds.
Despite receiving medical attention, Cameron Griffith later died at the hospital following the incident.
According to the Tennessean, a suspect in Griffith’s murder has just been arrested by Lebanon law enforcement. Eighteen-year-old Christian Chauncey Cain Ballance has been identified as the party taken into custody. Local SWAT teams raided the Gateway Inn, a motel in Clarksville, Tennessee, following a joint effort by Lebanon’s police department and the Clarksville police department.
Also apprehended were unidentified juvenile suspects in the case ranging from age 16 to age 17. Authorities stated that those currently nameless juveniles may also face charges of their own in the murder of Cameron Griffith.
Local residents ultimately helped law enforcement in Lebanon and Clarksville locate the suspects following a string of helpful tips. A reward of $1,000 was being offered to anyone who provided evidence leading to the conviction of a suspect in the murder of Griffith.
Following the arrest, Christian Ballance was immediately taken to Wilson County jail.
Christian Chauncey Cain Ballance allegedly shot and killed Cameron Griffith during an attempted armed robbery on December 16 at Discount Tobacco Shop in Lebanon. https://t.co/nTRp4wrGE9— WSMV News4 Nashville (@WSMV) December 30, 2018
The murder of Cameron Griffith was not a part of a common occurrence in Lebanon, Tennessee. Relatively speaking, the smaller town of Lebanon has a low rate of murder, especially compared with metropolitan areas in the state. In 2016, the town of Lebanon had zero murders, according to City-Data. That number was down from five murders in 2015, which is the highest on record for the Tennessee town. In 2016, there were 18 reported rapes in Lebanon, down from 20 in 2015. Robberies also decreased from 37 to 35 between 2015 and 2016, respectively, while assaults also notably decreased from 188 to 147 during those years.
For comparison, Memphis is Tennessee’s most densely populated area with more than 650,000 residents as of 2016. In the same year Lebanon had a reported population of approximately 32,000. In the same year that Lebanon, Tennessee, had zero reported murders, Memphis reported 196, their highest on record.
While the residents of Lebanon, Tennessee, are not as accustomed to violent crime in the area as their Memphis counterparts, residents may be able to rest easier knowing a suspect has been apprehended in the murder of Cameron Griffith.