published Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Chattanooga teens allege shots were fired on Walnut Street Bridge

Staff File Photo by Brett Clark
The Walnut Street Bridge as shown from Coolidge Park at night with a long exposure.
Staff File Photo by Brett Clark The Walnut Street Bridge as shown from Coolidge Park at night with a long exposure.
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Two teens who told Chattanooga police they witnessed gunfire on the Walnut Street Bridge Saturday could help investigators determine whether violence actually erupted among a crowd of youths that night.

But there is still no evidence that any shots were actually fired, said police spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary.

Bystanders around Coolidge Park Saturday night called police to report the sound of gunshots coming from the bridge, but responding officers said they found no evidence of a shooting that night.

On Monday, police reported that they believed the sound could have been fireworks.

Weary said police are still investigating the incident, but at this point there’s not enough evidence to press any charges.

Around 9:30 p.m. Monday night, officers were called to the downtown Marriott hotel after a 15-year-old boy ran in, telling hotel staff he was being chased by a rival group, Weary said.

The teen told police he was walking near College Hill Courts when a group began chasing him. The teen said he recognized one of the male assailants as the person he believed shot at him on the Walnut Street Bridge Saturday night, said Weary.

He said the suspect was armed with a black revolver.

Police also talked to a 14-year-old boy Monday night who said that he was on Walnut Street Bridge Saturday night when he and his friends were confronted and followed by a group of boys.

He said he saw a black male in a purple shirt armed with a black gun that had an extended magazine, Weary said. He also told police that the shooter was with the 15-year-old they questioned earlier and several other boys when the shots were fired.

Neither of the juveniles reported actually seeing the shooters shoot their guns.

Surveillance video recovered from the area didn’t reveal evidence of a shooting.

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joepulitzer said...


July 19, 2011 at 6:39 p.m.
chioK_V said...

So youth in your fine city, joepultizer, have gone from being thugs to holligans. Well, at least you southerners have a way with words. LOL

July 19, 2011 at 7:17 p.m.
johnnyhurst said...

Not all the youth, just the Thugs hooligans punks perps criminal youth. I think they are scumbags whos culture and way of life has ruined every major city in America. Choik, shootings warm your heart, remind you of home perhaps? The thought of a child being gunned down no big deal perhaps? Or should all US just remain silent like sum good scared white folk and not dare say anything bout certain "youth" violence.

July 19, 2011 at 8:36 p.m.
dasmarian said...

I hear that a decade or so ago that no one would go downtown at night because it was 'a scary place to be.' Looks to me like someone put some lipstick on a pig but the problems still exist.

Chattanooga leadership, when are you going to wise up and realize that no matter how many Volkswagens relocate to 'New Chattanooga' out off 75 that the real city is still going to be second rate until the crime is cleaned up?

If you can put cameras to catch speeders at every intersection how about something that can catch a shooter on Walnut Street Bridge? Or is your head in the sand more desirable of a solution? 30 eyewitness reports of shots fired and police have no evidence . . . are they inept or spinning this for the press?

July 19, 2011 at 9:50 p.m.
ChattaVol06 said...

The violence is out of control, and if it keeps spiraling out of control Chattanooga will soon see an exodus of people and businesses. Our beautiful city simply should not have a problem like this. But I have no clue what would help fix this. We live in the age where violent rap music permeates our culture and the youth think that violence is cool and school is not.

July 20, 2011 at 9:05 a.m.
patriot1 said...

Why isn't the NAACP, et al, as aggressive at cleaning up this type of violence as they are about someone shooting fireworks in the "black community." While the fireworks incident is wrong and should be prosecuted, it pales in comparsion to teenagers shooting each other. As long as the violence centers (aka government housing) exist, we can expect this to continue.

July 20, 2011 at 9:20 a.m.
harrystatel said...

Another tragedy in Chattanooga—Funeral details for Beloved Crime-Fighter.

July 20, 2011 at 9:28 a.m.
bigbearzzz said...

Alot of parents have dropped the ball on raising their children and teens responsibly. They are a direct result of their up-bringing and environment. Until fathers start learning how to be real fathers to their children (Especially the young men of today) this violence will continue to spiral out of control. A lot of these young men need good mentors and father figures. Maybe some of us should look at volunteering....

July 20, 2011 at 9:43 a.m.
BOOBOO99 said...

Well this is last time I will bring my family to this area..I lived in Chattanooga for 20 Years ..6 years ago i moved to away to nice rural area but I still work in chattanooga...If The law enforcement cant control these hoodie thugs and gangs , I will not put my family endanger by coming to this area anymore. It isnt worth putting my family in a war zone called Coolidge Park. We need more stricked laws..If a person gets caught shooting a gun in public harming other people..They should take that person and put him in jail for life. After a few hoodie thugs see others spending life in prison maybe they will think twice about shooting guns in public.

July 20, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.
LibDem said...

BOOBOO99: My wife and I live in Chattanooga and weekly patronize restaurants and entertainment venues downtown. When decent people run away, the thugs win. I'm too old and ornery to allow that.

July 20, 2011 at 10:56 a.m.
BOOBOO99 said...

LibDem I agree with you on that point...But if one of my family members got shot in coolidge park area where there are a lot of known gang members hang out..Im not gonna put myself in that position. My family's life is more important than taking a chance taking the kids to this area. Better safe than sorry.

July 20, 2011 at 12:17 p.m.
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