published Friday, January 11th, 2013

Father of 5 is city's first homicide victim of year

People stand behind a crime scene tape as Chattanooga police investigate a homicide at 2500 O'Rear St. in East Chattanooga on Thursday.
People stand behind a crime scene tape as Chattanooga police investigate a homicide at 2500 O'Rear St. in East Chattanooga on Thursday.
Photo by John Rawlston /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Shootings this week

It's unclear whether any of the shootings this week are connected, according to Chattanooga police. Since Sunday, police have investigated five shootings where a total of eight people were wounded. Edward Glenn's death Thursday morning marked the first shooting death of 2013.

* Jan. 6 -- Four people are wounded at a 14-year-old's birthday party in front at house at 3208 Bon Air Circle. All four of the victims are teens and receive non-life-threatening injuries.

* Jan. 7 -- Alexander Hughlett, 20, is taken to a hospital in a privately owned vehicle for non-life-threatening injuries after he is shot in the 2700 block of Fourth Avenue.

* Jan. 8 -- Umeka Beasley, 18, sustains non-life-threatening injuries to her arm and abdomen when she is shot at 2609 Ridgeside Road. She would not give detectives details about who shot her and stated it was an accident.

* Jan. 8 -- Stephen Underwood, 29, is shot in the chest and arm at 4502 Rossville Blvd. He refused treatment.

* Jan. 10 -- Edward Glenn, 28, is shot more than once inside a residence at 2500 O'Rear St. He dies at the scene.

HOW TO HELP

Anyone with information can contact Chattanooga police at 698-2525.

Ella Lay woke up Thursday morning hoping to reach out to a young father of five.

Maybe he would turn from the streets and be able to find a job. There were rumors that he sold drugs.

Lay, 60, had told 28-year-old Edward Glenn she would take him to get help because he had health problems. A family member of Glenn's refuted claims he was a drug dealer or had health issues.

But as Lay sat in her living room early Thursday morning, the sound of gunfire signaled the end of those plans.

"You hear a lot of gunshots around here," she said.

Glenn was shot more than once when two gunmen entered a mint green home on O'Rear Street where Lay's granddaughter lives. Glenn died at the scene, Chattanooga's first homicide victim of 2013. As of Thursday night, no arrest had been made in his death.

The house is adjacent to Lay's home on Daisy Street. Her kitchen window frames a perfect view of the house.

On Wednesday night, Lay's foster daughter stayed at the residence while Lay's granddaughter was out of town.

Suddenly, the door was kicked in. A gun was held to her head.

But it was Glenn the gunmen were after.

Glenn spent the night at the home planning to meet with Lay the next morning. But he had been hesitant to stay in the eastside neighborhood.

"He told me he didn't feel safe over here," Lay said. "Said it wasn't his turf."

After the shots rang out, Lay went to the house to check on loved ones.

She went beyond the doorway hoping to find Glenn alive.

"I thought I might be able to assist him, but when I looked at him, you can't have a gunshot to the head like that and live," she said, shaking her head as fresh tears emerged.

The foster daughter was unharmed but still frightened.

"Neither one of us could dial the phone. We were just hysterical," Lay said.

Thursday, as crime scene technicians scanned the scene, roped off trees with yellow crime scene tape and placed a few evidence markers outside, Lay sat at her kitchen table trying to come to terms with what had unfolded.

Family members stirred in the house. The dozen or so plants, which she assigns names to and that normally bring her comfort, still sat crowded in the corner of the living room. But things weren't the same.

"I'm not going to get over this. It's just awful," she said.

She propped her elbows on the table and briefly rested her head in her hands.

"I just don't understand why these young people are doing this to each other," she said. "Why are they doing this to each other?"

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