published Saturday, February 19th, 2011

Teenager shot during 20-person brawl

A 17-year-old male was in surgery Friday night after he was shot in the abdomen during a North Orchard Knob Avenue brawl Friday afternoon.

The victim was in critical condition and the injury "didn't look real good" Friday night, Chattanooga police spokeswoman Officer Rebecca Royval said.

Officers at the scene said they heard several stories about what happened, but multiple neighbors confirmed 20 to 25 people, most of whom appeared school age, were fighting near 1308 N. Orchard Knob Ave. around 5:20 p.m.

The fight that led to the shooting was connected to a bus stop confrontation that began around 2:30 p.m. near the shooting site.

Neighbor Leander Johnson said that at the bus stop there were two girls doing most of the fighting, and when the confrontation moved down the street, "it just grew bigger and bigger."

Johnson said the boy who was shot became involved when he tried to protect a friend.

"At first he was trying to stop it," he said. "That's when he got hit in the head with the golf club."

At that point, the fight wasn't just between teenagers.

"Some big grown-up grabbed him and slung him down," he said. "I heard something, 'Pow!' and I turned around and there was a man down."

There was another bus-stop shooting involving teenagers on Dec. 9. when a truck drove by a bus stop, its passengers firing multiple shots but injuring no one.

Police are working on leads in Friday night's case, but no suspect information was available.

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