published Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Suspect charged in road rage killing was shooting instructor who had worked at sheriff’s office

Richard Manning, the 62-year-old man accused of killing Norman Gallman in the midst of a road rage dispute Tuesday, is a former Hamilton County sheriff's officer, an instructor of armed guards at a Chattanooga shooting range and a cancer patient.

Manning is accused of firing one fatal shot at Gallman on Tuesday morning at the Moore Road and North Terrace intersection near East Ridge after he pulled up behind Gallman at a stoplight.

According to police, another motorist saw the driver of a bronze Chevrolet Impala pull up directly behind Gallman at a stop light. The witness told police that Gallman got out of his Honda CR-V and walked back to the Impala's driver-side door. A shot was fired.

Gallman reportedly stumbled back to his SUV and "slumped over the steering wheel." A woman in the car was uninjured.

The Impala then reportedly drove around Gallman's SUV and headed south on Moore Road into East Ridge. A witness gave police a license plate number, which was tracked back to 706 S. Lovell Ave. in East Ridge -- Manning's home.

Police surrounded the house but it was empty. At 11:30 a.m., Manning was stopped by police at 4906 Maryland Ave., driving a maroon Dodge Ram pickup. Police say Manning identified himself and surrendered without incident.

Inside the truck, police found a .40-caliber handgun tucked in a bag in the front seat. In May, Manning reported to East Ridge police that a .40-caliber handgun had been stolen out of his vehicle.

Gallman's Ringgold, Ga., neighborhood learned about the shooting Tuesday evening.

On Wednesday, Richard Gargin, a neighbor of Gallman's, identified Anna Caro -- Gallman's passenger Tuesday morning -- as Gallman's wife, not girlfriend.

Gargin said the couple's neighbors and friends are trying to process what happened and figure out what's next -- whether it's knocking at Caro's door, putting together benefit events, raising money or buying gifts for the couple's kids.

The shooting has shocked the close-knit community, he said.

"I just pulled into my driveway, early from work, so I can hug my kids," Gargin said Wednesday.

Whatever led up to Gallman's death Tuesday, Caro saw it all. The lead-up to an apparent dispute between Gallman and Manning. A fatal gunshot. Police trying to administer CPR on Gallman.

She has been unavailable for comment.

Manning was a corrections officer with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office between 1977 and 1984. He is also a certified firearms instructor in Chattanooga.

Amy Gregory, co-owner of The Shooter's Depot, said Manning has been instructing and qualifying future security officers and armed guards for years at the Shallowford Road facility, which is five miles from Manning's home.

Gregory said Manning recently has been missing work because of health problems. He has been diagnosed with cancer, she said, and has been in poor health for a while, even needing oxygen at times. She also said Manning recently had surgery to have a tumor removed.

"He's 62, but if you saw him you would think he was well into his 70s or 80s," she said.

Gregory said Manning can "barely walk" and has trouble going from his car to the door at the shooting range. And she said he hasn't actually fired a gun at the facility in a while.

"I haven't seen Rick shoot in months," she said.

That fragility may have produced fear in a confrontation, Gregory said. Even so, she questioned why Manning -- a former lawman himself -- wouldn't have just called the police when Gallman stepped out of his SUV and approached Manning's car.

"If I had to guess -- the way I know Rick -- he felt his life was threatened," Gregory said.

"It's a horrible situation all the way around," she said. But she said she doesn't believe a gun is the culprit.

"I remain firm in my stance that there is no bad gun," she said. "A gun is just a tool."

Contact staff writer Alex Green at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6731.

about Alex Green...

Alex Green joined the Times Free Press staff full-time in January 2014 after completing the paper's six-month, general assignment reporter internship. Alex grew up in Dayton, Tenn., which is also where he studied journalism at Bryan College. He graduated from Rhea County High School in 2008. During college, Alex covered the city of Graysville and the town of Spring City for The Herald-News. As editor-in-chief of Bryan College's student news group, Triangle, Alex reported on ...

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