published Monday, March 7th, 2011

Shotgun blast victim in hospital

Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Chattanooga police talk outside College Hill Courts apartment of Darrell Paris, who was shot in the stomach by an unknown assailant on Sunday afternoon.
Staff photo by Jenna Walker/Chattanooga Times Free Press - Chattanooga police talk outside College Hill Courts apartment of Darrell Paris, who was shot in the stomach by an unknown assailant on Sunday afternoon.

Shameka Hudgins lives in College Hill Courts and says she’s weary of the violence in her neighborhood.

“It just seems like there’s a couple shootings every year,” she said Sunday.

The last one was too close to home, Hudgins said.

She was the first to respond when her neighbor Darrell Paris, 22, of 1329 Cypress Street Court, was shot in the stomach with a 16-gauge sawed-off shotgun Sunday afternoon.

“I hear the shot and ran outside, and he was hanging on the door saying, ‘Help me.’”

Hudgins called 911, and paramedics told her to put pressure on his wounds.

“When I tried to put pressure on it, his intestines came out,” Hudgins said, gesturing to the stoop next door where blood still stained the pavement.

  • photo
    Contributed photo Demetrius Bibbs has been charged in a shooting Friday that resulted in the death of Ronald Blackmon Jr. on Sheridan Street.

Paris was in surgery at Erlanger hospital Sunday night and is expected to survive, Chattanooga police spokeswoman Rebecca Royval said.

The suspect, a black male wearing blue jeans and a hooded purple sweatshirt, headed west on foot, Royval said. Police said they don’t know the motive for the shooting.

Paris was the fourth person shot since Friday in a string of gun attacks in Chattanooga.

On Friday, Ronald Blackmon Jr., 25, was standing outside 1208 Sheridan Ave. when a car slowly drove by and someone inside shot him once in the head.

Blackmon was taken to Erlanger hospital, where he was pronounced dead Saturday.

Police arrested Edward Ryals Jr. and Demetrius Bibbs, both 19, the same day. Ryals was charged with attempted first-degee murder and aggravated assault. Bibbs was charged with being an accessory after the fact on attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault. Royval said Sunday that charges against both will be upgraded with Blackmon’s death.

  • photo
    Contributed photo Edward Ryals Jr. has been charged in a shooting Friday that resulted in the death of Ronald Blackmon Jr. on Sheridan Street.

Police say the slaying is gang-related. Attempts to reach Blackmon’s family Sunday evening were unsuccessful.

Eight hours after the Sheridan Avenue attack came another at the Woodlawn Apartments, half a mile away on Wilson Street. Someone walked up to an apartment and shot four or five times through the window, striking a 3-year-old boy in the left leg and 20-year-old Prandell Haynes in the left hand.

Haynes was treated at Erlanger and the child at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital. Police said neither suffered life-threatening injuries.

Police had no suspect information available over the weekend. Haynes is a known gang member, though police are still investigating whether the shooting was tied to the one on Sheridan Avenue.

Royval said Sunday there’s no word on whether all three shootings are related, or whether the weekend’s violence signified an outbreak in gang activity.

“There’s no way to predict retaliation. Sometimes it does happen that the crimes are related and there’s retaliation involved, but we just can’t tell in these cases yet,” Royval said.

Doris Conner, former president of the residents association for College Hill courts, said she’s deeply troubled by the increase in gang violence over the last several years. It keeps people in their houses and makes them distrust each other, she said.

“Everyone minds their business and doesn’t want to comment because they don’t want their house shot up,” Conner said.

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