published Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Chattanooga police nab 2 juvenile suspects in Mosaic Christmas shooting

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    Mosaic Church which doubles as Club Fathom in Chattanooga.
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A 15-year-old charged in the early Christmas shooting at Mosaic church also was the target of a shooting attempt Tuesday where no one was injured, according to Chattanooga police.

The teen is one of two juveniles suspected of firing into a crowd of young people and wounding nine early on Christmas near Mosaic church on Market Street. Both are gang members, police said.

Investigators say they are still searching for a third suspect.

Police charged the 15-year-old with nine counts of attempted first-degree murder, nine counts of aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and reckless endangerment.

Charges are pending against the second suspect, police said.

Police were on their way to pick the 15-year-old up on the Mosaic charges Tuesday when gunfire erupted near 2505 Oak St. An off-duty police officer said he heard a loud argument and saw a man with a rifle open fire on the residence while pulling away in a car.

The Christmas shooting stemmed from an argument inside the church during a party.

Police said some teens were kicked out after gang signs were flashed on the dance floor. As about 400 people were leaving a little after midnight, shots rang out, according to police.

One of the teens in custody told police his friend was wounded when Chattanooga Officer Jacques Weary returned fire. Police are still waiting for ballistics to come back from Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to see if Weary wounded any of the gunmen.

The church, located at 412 Market St., has been associated with numerous shootings and fights through its controversial youth program, Club Fathom, targeted toward inner city youth.

According to a Dec. 31 letter obtained by the Times Free Press, the church has been ordered to leave the downtown site by the end of the month.

Property records show Beverly Henry as the trustee and the letter was issued by attorney James Henry, her husband.

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