published Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

4 teens shot at birthday party in Chattanooga

Party shooting
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Four teens were wounded at a birthday party for a 14-year-old girl early Sunday, according to Chattanooga police.

"We were having a party, and things just got out of hand," said a young man who answered the door at 3208 Bon Air Circle where the party was held. He appeared to be in his late teens.

He said the people involved in the fight which began inside the house were "probably" gang members. He walked away after answering a couple of questions.

Police estimated 150 to 200 people attended the party and some of them were gang members. An argument between suspected rival gang members began inside the house and moved out front where shots were fired, they said.

A 16-year-old boy, a 17-year-old boy, 17-year-old girl and 19-year-old LeRance White had gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening. The four showed up at three local hospitals when police arrived at the house responding to a shots fired call.

On Monday afternoon, White's aunt answered the door at his father's residence in Brainerd. She was unaware he was shot and did not know where he was.

"He hasn't been here for a minute. He sometimes comes by to get his clothes," she said.

The residence where the shooting took place is owned by David M. Wolff, who owns several other properties, some of which are Section 8 housing. He did not return a phone call seeking comment Monday afternoon.

It's unclear who fired the shots or what the argument was about.

The teen who answered the door at the home said he didn't know and was downstairs at the time.

Police interviewed numerous people who attended the party. All of them said they didn't see anything. As of Monday afternoon, no arrest had been made.

The shooting marked the first shooting of the year in the city resulting in injury. In 2012, there were 98 shootings resulting in injury or death, according to a list kept by the Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Police are asking anyone with any information to call Chattanooga police at 423-698-2525.

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