published Monday, March 19th, 2012

Weekend shootings in Chattanooga were gang-related, police say

Chattanooga police said today that they are seeking suspects for two separate weekend shootings that left one man dead and a 13-year-old girl critically injured.

Investigators believe both of the shootings were gang-related, Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd said this morning at a news conference.

Joshua Lackey, 23, and Derrick Smith, 21, have both been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first- degree murder, aggravated assault and attempted first-degree murder in the shooting death of 25-year-old Jabari Jennings, he said.

The shooting also wounded 24-year-old Lawande Haggard.

Dodd said investigators believe the two suspects may have left Chattanooga, but police continue to follow leads.

Thirteen-year-old Keoshia Ford remains in critical condition after being shot in the head and chest Saturday night near 2012 Bennett Avenue.

Dodd said Ford was caught in the crossfire between a group of people shooting from a neighboring yard and from at least two vehicles.

Initial investigations show the suspects in the Bennett Street shooting may be juveniles, Dodd said.

“It’s disgusting. It’s one thing when you have gang members who are adults ... but when you find out it’s a child involved, it’s gut-wrenching,” he said.

For complete details, read tomorrow’s Times Free Press.

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