By Camm Ashford
During remarks made on the steps of the Courthouse last Sunday afternoon, Mayor Tim Kelly expressed frustration about two consecutive weekends of tragic mass shootings in Chattanooga.
“Our city will treat this like the crisis it is,” Mayor Kelly said during the 1 p.m. press briefing. “I’m tired of standing in front of you talking about guns and bodies. Chattanooga will not tolerate this in our community.”
Three people were killed and at least 14 others were injured after gunshots rang outside Mary’s Bar and Grill on 2125 McCallie Ave. Sunday at 2:45 a.m., with some victims struck by bullets and others by fleeing vehicles.
Among the three deaths, two stemmed from gunshot wounds and one stemmed from injuries sustained after the victim was struck by a vehicle. Sixteen adults and 1 juvenile were involved in the incident.
Chattanooga Police Department Chief Celeste Murphy said multiple shooters using several types of firearms were involved. At the Chronicle’s press time, no suspects are in custody.
A motive for the shooting is unclear, but Chief Murphy believes the shooting was an isolated incident “in which one or more of the victims were targeted.”
Last Sunday’s shooting was the second major shooting in Chattanooga in as many weekends. Last Saturday night, six people were shot following an altercation between two groups downtown. No victims died, though two were critically injured.
A 15-year-old male has been arrested as a suspect, and is charged with six counts of attempted murder, possession of a weapon during the commission of a dangerous felony, unlawful possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment.
Chattanooga police have not identified the teen because of his age, but say he is now in the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Facility.
Mayor Kelly said the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms (ATF) is now helping with last Sunday’s shooting investigation. He is also asking for Congress to take action to address the issue of gun violence in the country.
“Our city will not tolerate people who feel they are beyond the law,” said Mayor Kelly. “And while my administration is working hard to address the economic and social factors that often drive people to turn to violence in the first place, we are also committed to ensuring that those who commit acts of violence will be held accountable. Stop the shooting, stop the violence. This city and our communities are better than this, and we demand it.”