Officials: Hatchet slaying suspect had tried to buy gun

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A Tennessee man accused of killing his former employer with a hatchet had tried to purchase a gun days before the attack but failed a background check.

Police have charged 36-year-old Domenic Micheli with criminal homicide in the June 4 slaying of 46-year-old Joel Paavola at a gym in Nashville.

Acting Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Director Jason Locke told The Tennessean on Tuesday that "there could have been a whole lot more casualties" if Micheli had been able to purchase a gun.

Bureau spokesman Josh DeVine says Micheli attempted to purchase a firearm on May 30 in Williamson County but was denied. He did not say why.

Paavola was killed as he led a workout at his gym in the Nashville suburb of Belle Meade. Paavola had fired Micheli from his gym more than a year before the attack.