published Saturday, November 26th, 2011

Man in critical condition after shooting in Chattanooga

A 35-year-old man remains in critical condition with a paralyzing spinal injury and a gunshot wound to his head after he sped away from a wreck Friday morning.

Jerry Martin was a victim in one of two shootings Friday, bringing the city's year-to-date total to 83 gun-related incidents resulting in injury or death, according to newspaper records.

The first shooting Friday happened just after midnight following a traffic collision on Jersey Pike, according to the Chattanooga Police Department.

Officers found Martin in his vehicle with a gunshot wound to his face and neck, according to an arrest report.

Martin reportedly struck a Ford F-150 pickup driven by 43-year-old Kevin L. Chitty. Martin apparently was trying to leave the scene when Chitty fired a .40-caliber Springfield XD handgun at him, police said.

Chitty told police the crash happened when Martin rear-ended his vehicle.

As he got out of the vehicle to check on the damage and his passengers, who included his two sons and grandsons, he told police he thought Martin had pointed a gun at him.

Chitty faces charges of attempted second-degree murder and aggravated assault.

Local court records show Chitty has no previous violent criminal history. On Friday morning he had a $30,000 bond set. His next court appearance is set for Nov. 30 before General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck.

The second shooting took place three hours later when a man was shot in the ankle and foot by people driving by in a car, according to police.

Police spoke to Gus McKinney, 42, after he showed up injured at a local hospital emergency room.

McKinney told investigators he had just finished walking a friend home about 3 a.m. near 909 W. 39th St. when a vehicle pulled up and people inside opened fire. The bullets struck as he was running into his home, police said.

While McKinney was the victim in this case, he has a violent history. Local records show assault charges dating back to the early 1990s. He pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in 1993 and was sentenced to four years, according to local court records.

Earlier this year, he faced charges of reckless endangerment, vandalism and domestic assault. All the charges except reckless endangerment were dropped. He received a suspended sentence of three years, according to records.

The shooting remains under investigation, police said.

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