published Saturday, April 2nd, 2011, updated April 3rd, 2011 at 12:21 p.m.

Chattanooga officer shot, killed

The man suspected in the fatal shooting of a Chattanooga police officer Saturday is Jesse Matthews, a Colorado parolee and fugitive, police said this morning.

Sgt. James Timothy Chapin, 51, died and Officer Lorin Johnston was wounded in a gunbattle at after an armed robbery at the U.S. Money Shops at 5952 Brainerd Road.

Chapin, a 27-year veteran of the department worked in Delta patrol zone, which covers the U.S. Money Shops at 5952 Brainerd Road.

The source also confirmed the officer wounded in the incident is Officer Lorin D. Johnston Sr., 45. Johnston, an 11-year Chattanooga police veteran also works patrol in Delta zone.

Police officials said Johnston was treated and released from a local hospital.

Investigators from the Chattanooga Police Department and other agencies are working the roped-off scene of the shootings this afternoon.

Four women huddled close to the crime-scene tape, weeping. They wouldn't say immediately who they were or why they were there.

Chattanooga police said three to four officers responded to the U.S. Money Shop at 5952 Brainerd Road on an armed robbery call at about 10:30 a.m.

The suspect fired at police from the shop, then ran out a side door with police on foot and in cars in pursuit, authorities said.

The running gunbattle continued for about 200 yards before the suspect was captured.

The suspect is being treated in a local hospital. Police have not released his identification but say he is not from Chattanooga.

“It’s the most tragic thing you can go through,” police Chief Bobby Dodd said of the loss of a veteran officer. “He’s a super nice guy. I have a lot of folks out here who are just numb at this point.”

Dodd said six officers will be placed on administrative leave, standard in any police shooting case.

The chief said officers are heading up a joint investigation with the Collegedale police and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office to determine what happened. Police do not plan to release any further information until tomorrow, he said.

The last Chattanooga police officer to be killed in the line of duty was Officer Julie Jacks on May 6, 2002, according to newspaper archives.

For more details see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

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joecrash1 said...

My condolences to the family and to his brother officers. My prayers are for the wounded officer.

April 2, 2011 at 1:11 p.m.
momandwife said...

This news is absolutely heartbreaking. Praying for the family of this officer. Also, praying for the other Chattanooga police officers that protect us on a daily basis. We enjoy our evenings, weekends, and holidays while they are out there (away from their families) working and putting their lives on the line for us.

Mayor...you need to give these officers what they deserve. I don't care if it's in "your budget" or not. We don't have enough officers out there protecting our city, or covering their fellow officers' backs.

I'm so proud of our officers doing their jobs without enough pay to provide for their families, and without the safety of enough backup officers. THANK YOU CPD!

April 2, 2011 at 1:37 p.m.
docspop said...

I am so very sorry to hear of this officer's death.My heart felt prayers are with the family and the extended family officer Chapin had on the Chattanooga Police force.Thank you to all of our brave officers in the city and county.You serve us far and beyond better than you get treated by the public and city government.Thank you for your service and protection.

April 2, 2011 at 3:26 p.m.
m554g said...

My prayers and condolences are with the familes of the officers and the entire police department. Thank you all for risking your lives daily trying to protect and keep the rest of us safe. God Bless.

April 2, 2011 at 4:06 p.m.
EaTn said...

This article is just a reminder that our police put their lives on the line for us when they leave home for work. It's a tragedy that some lose their lives to scumbags that get their hands on guns and don't think about using them.

April 2, 2011 at 4:28 p.m.
fairmon said...

The friends and family of this gentleman suffer a loss that should not have happened. No doubt the heart of every citizen is heavy over this event and concerned about recent events in this city. My prayers are for the family and other officers and for swift unmerciful justice for the heartless criminal.

We lost one of our fine police officers and now we get to feed this scum bag and pay for his trial. Our police are much too professional to do it but what would have been lost had they just executed him at the scene? He had fired at them and he was fleeing.

I agree that our city leaders don't seem to put our police and fire personnel high enough on their priority list. They are very courteous and professional in every dealing I have had with them.

Please don't tell me about that one bad experience or something heard. The department is high quality and committed to protecting the citizens of this community.

April 2, 2011 at 4:56 p.m.
blaileigh said...

Praying for the Police Department and their families as they deal with this tragic event.

April 2, 2011 at 5:06 p.m.
LibDem said...

This is is beyond sad. I hope our officers know we appreciate them and their service and wish them safe.

April 2, 2011 at 5:24 p.m.
Haiku said...

@indian, hasn't that been the normal procedure by police thus far? A procedure that many in the field are coming to realize may actually be a leading cause for police dying in the line of duty at the hands of citizens? Does your suggestion make the cops executing a suspect on the streets any better than the suspect?

Don't belittle this officer's life and the officers who witnessed this tragedy by suggesting they become no better than the criminal who committed this horrible crime.

April 2, 2011 at 6:40 p.m.
sandyonsignal said...

My thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends, Police Department and all who knew and loved Sgt. Chapin. My heart aches for all of them. Sgt. Chapin and Officer Johnston are our heroes. Our police deserve our respect and honor.

April 2, 2011 at 7:22 p.m.
sangaree said...

I know not what type of officer, husband, father, neighbor, friend Sgt. Chapin was. I do not know him personally. All I know is a human being senselessly and tragically lost his life today doing his job. For that I am deeply sadden for the loss of life, for his family and everyone who knew and loved him.

Today, all I know is I awaken to sounds of angels weeping ....And when I learned why I too began to cry ..."For there can be no crown of stars ...Without a cross to bear ...And there is no salvation ...Without faith and love and prayer...... ...And as we take our needs to God ...Let us pray as did His son ..That dark night in Gethsemane ...Thy will not mine ...Be done................"

In the meantime, I'll still weep with the angels.

Unlike some here, I wish no harm and have no hatred towards the shooter That is not my judgment call, but a call for the courts, and a HIGHER COURT he will one day have to face.

For now, all I want to do is offer my heartfelt prayers to Sgt. Chapin's family, friends and fellow officers. May strength, faith and eventually peace come to them through their grief. Hopefully, one day too, perhaps, forgiveness.

Peace and Prayers

April 2, 2011 at 9:11 p.m.
sandam said...

@Haiku Once that scumbag pulled a weapon on a cop it is open season on his arse. This is the way most police departments in the country operate. If this this had happened where Im from, the perp wouldn't make it to the hospital alive. He would be full of lead.

April 2, 2011 at 11:30 p.m.
Haiku said...

@sandam and how does that make you, I or even the police that would intentionally execute the killer any better than that killer?

Let me first state, I value life ALL LIFE. I consider police the gatekeepers of law and order in society. I come from a long line of family members in the profession. I'm aware of the dangers out there they face, be it from outside forces or even at time their own. However, over the years I and others have witnessed a disturbing trend in the profession. Where the gatekeepers of law and order have often become the lawless and disorderly. When there's a serious breakdown within the gatekeepers of law and order, like a dysfunctional family with dysfunctional parents in a household, there will also be a major breakdown in the general population.

Let me explain. When I see the gatekeepers going on line and describing themselves as the "hunters" and their victims as "prey", that disturbs me. When I see the gatekeepers of law and order referring to their victims as "terds", even when those victims turn out to be innocent civilians caught up in botched raids, I'm concern. I'm concerned more so for the profession, but as well for the general population. If the gatekeepers of law and order have no respect for human life, there goes the breakdown within the general population, and the within that general population____ there will be those who come to have no respect for the gatekeepers of law and order.

All life has worth and value or all life will come to have no worth and value, even the life of the gatekeepers of law and order will come to have no value to someone. I personally can't place a value on life over another just because of the title one sports over another, even that of a police officer. That's what criminals do. They value and devalue life over whom they preceive to be worthy of life or harm and death. A life is a life, and all life is precious and worthy. Or at some point and time, someone will come along and devalue that life we like to deem more worthy than yours, mine and general society. I honestly don't think the life of the gatekeepers has any more or less value than the life of an innocent civilian wrongly taken at the hands of the gatekeeper, even if only accidently and mistakenly.

Perhaps at some point, beyond the grief, you and others will come to understand where I'm coming from.

@sangaree: From someone who comes from a family with ties to law enforcement, your words are humbling. Thank you.

April 3, 2011 at 10:35 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

Another example of getting up every morning and going to work.You never know if you'll make it home at the end of the day. The policemen and policewomen take this risk everyday The firemen too. I can only hope the Mayor and others can now see and value the worth of these truly courageous people. Give them their cars and raises where needed. That's the best way this city can show our support and appreciation.

I am so very sorry for what has happened. My deepest condolences to the slain officer's family. I will pray for them as well as for the wounded officer.

April 3, 2011 at 12:20 p.m.
chioK_V said...

A greater tragedy is how some are exploiting this tragedy to argue for pay raise, take home cars and a chance to attack the mayor. Farmers and fishermen go to work everyday risking their lives to provide food resources and other staples to keep the world alive. In fact, of all the dangerous jobs, the job of a fisherman and farming is at the top of the list.

Please don't diminish and take away from this tragic death by using it as an argument for pay raises and take home police cars.

April 3, 2011 at 12:39 p.m.
holdout said...

No one ever shot a farmer in the face for planting corn.

April 3, 2011 at 12:45 p.m.
chioK_V said...

@holdout said... No one ever shot a farmer in the face for planting corn.


Are you sure about that? What about for not planting enough corn?

April 3, 2011 at 2:12 p.m.
Brothernblue said...

God speed Sgt. Chapin,

It is a sad day to have lost yet another Brother whom I have never met. My heart and prayers go out to the Chapin Family, Friends and the fellow LEO'S who were blessed with knowing this brave Officer. My heart and prayers also go out to all the additional Officer's and citizens who were involved in or wittnessed this tragic event.

R.I.P Sgt. Chapin

April 4, 2011 at 8:37 p.m.
chet123 said...

i cant beleive he was walking around free with 2 previous robberies

April 5, 2011 at 8:24 a.m.
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