published Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Police seek suspects, motive in recent shooting deaths

One man died after he was shot in the chest last week while walking out of a neighborhood market.

Four days later on the same side of town, another man was found with numerous gunshot wounds to the head, Hamilton County medical examiner reports confirmed Wednesday.

The two homicide cases remain under investigation at the Chattanooga Police Department. Investigators declined to release updates — including a motive or possible suspects — in either case Wednesday, said Sgt. Jerri Weary, Chattanooga police spokeswoman.

There have been nine homicides so far this year in Chattanooga. Three remain open without arrests, including these two cases.

Cordarrius J. Armour, 22, was walking out of the Okie Dokie Market at 1900 Roanoke Ave. when he was shot once in the chest on April 5. The bullet exited through his back, according to the medical examiner’s report. The type of gun was not identified in the report.

Efforts were unsuccessful to reach family members at a residence at the Harriet Tubman housing complex where Armour sometimes stayed. No one answered the door and a neighbor said the residence was unoccupied.

Witnesses to the shooting said Armour was killed because of an ongoing dispute he had with another man. They also told the Times Free Press a witness at the scene was beaten and hit with chemical spray by police.

Weary denied the witness was beaten. She said he was detained in the back of a police car and taken to the police department, where he was questioned and released.

“According to officers on the scene during the initial response, the witness became irate and began shoving police when officers told him that investigators would need to speak with him,” Weary said in an email. “They’re not sure if he was upset over what had just happened or didn’t want to be detained for questioning.”

She said the witness did not file a complaint against police.

Armour’s criminal history included local assault charges, court records show.

Aaron Burton, 39, who also went by the name Aaron Trammell, was found dead in his home early Sunday. The medical examiner’s report showed Burton was shot in the head several times. The report showed numerous angles of bullet wounds, including one to Burton’s face and two near the crown of his head.

Police have not released the type of gun used to shoot Burton.

No one appeared to be at the home Wednesday. A neighbor said the house was vacated after Burton’s death.

Court records show Burton was convicted of second-degree murder in 1997 and was sentenced to 16 years. He also had previous drug charges, records show.

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