On Friday, after most of the yellow police tape was taken down and the crime scene cleanup was done, the house where Chance LeCroy was shot and killed was eerily still.
Throughout the day, friends of 21-year-old LeCroy drove by the rental home, perched on a small hill at the dead end of Johnston Terrace in Hixson. Some who stopped said they had seen him just a few days or months before.
“It was a fun house. On the weekend, a lot of people were over here,” said Ryan Ashburn, a 20-year-old student at Chattanooga State Community College, as he walked around a yard littered with food wrappers and empty Natural Light cans.
LeCroy was killed Thursday morning in what police are calling a residential robbery.
According to police reports, LeCroy’s 21-year-old roommate, Tucker King, said he was asleep on the couch and woke to find two men in the room and a gun to his head. King told police that, instead of shooting him, the men ran out of the house, got into a truck and sped off.
King said he then found LeCroy dead in his bedroom, police reported.
On Friday, police said they had no further information on the case. Investigators were not available for comment, said Sgt. Jerri Weary, police spokeswoman.
As friends and family wait for answers, people have been pouring out sympathy to Emily Sailors, LeCroy’s girlfriend, who wrote on her Facebook page that LeCroy “made her heart go boom.”
“Stay strong for him,” Hannah Marsh, a friend of LeCroy’s, wrote on Sailors’ Facebook wall. “We all know he was a goofy, kind-hearted guy and this is beyond what anybody thought would ever happen to him. God took an angel back.”
On Friday, friends visiting the Johnson Terrace home said it was hard to imagine that LeCroy’s death was just a violent end to a random burglary. Several say they believe the shooting was a planned murder.
“It seems like they knew him,” said Harrison Eller, a 19-year-old who had been to the house before. “They went straight in and straight out.”
There weren’t a lot of strangers coming in and out of the house during parties, Eller said. LeCroy had been in a band that played local house shows, and it usually was the same group of people that found their way back to the Johnston Terrace home, he said.
Still, Ashburn said, people used drugs at the house and that could have put LeCroy in the path of more dangerous people.
Police said drugs could have been a motive for the crime. They reported drug-related items were found at the house after the shooting, but would not describe them.
Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...