A Foust Street Gangster Disciple leader who called himself "hard2kill" was gunned down Thursday on his own turf.
Police found 22-year-old Dominic Wright dead from apparent gunshot wounds about 3:45 a.m. at 2108 Foust St.
The homicide is Chattanooga's 19th of the year, equaling the total number of homicides in all of 2013. As ominous as that statistic might be, though, it's well below the 49 killings the city recorded in 1991.
Still, the killing came in the midst of an initiative intended to reduce the level of gun violence in Chattanooga. And while the total number of shootings remains behind last year's pace, Mayor Andy Berke has made it his top priority to reduce gun deaths.
The Violence Reduction Initiative targets the city's violent, those most prone to crimes involving firearms. It isn't known whether Wright was specifically part of the VRI, but he was no stranger to guns or crime.
Police picked up Wright in May on a charge of unlawful possession of a weapon. He bonded out of Silverdale Correctional Facility only recently and was due to appear in Hamilton County General Sessions court for a hearing on that charge on the day he was killed.
At the time Wright should have been in the courtroom, police were processing the scene where his body was found, looking for clues about who might have killed him.
"We have no idea of the motivation for the murder, but it's fair to presume there is possibly some gang connection," Police Chief Fred Fletcher said Thursday afternoon after he and numerous officers spent hours speaking with residents in the neighborhood where Wright's reputation preceded him.
In March 2013, Wright, who also went by "Skream," and two others came under scrutiny in the shooting death of Eric Fluellen, a fellow member of the Foust Street arm of the Gangster Disciples.
Wright, Oshae Smith and Lee Antonio Clements Jr., all high-ranking members of the gang, were close with Fluellen. The three were featured in an award-winning Times Free Press special report titled "Speak No Evil" about Fluellen's death and the investigation that followed.
Of the three, only Clements was charged in connection with Fluellen's death. But he ultimately was not indicted and went free. Like Wright, Clements and Smith also were arrested on gun charges in the spring.
Wright's criminal history was extensive. Since turning 18 in 2009, he had pleaded guilty to robbery, theft of property and criminal trespassing in criminal court. He also pleaded guilty to gun charges and a litany of other offenses in general sessions court.
Wright's file was updated Thursday to reflect the status of his current case in General Sessions Court, where he had been scheduled to appear.
"Defendant failed to show," it says.
Contact staff writer David Cobb at email@example.com or 423-757-6731.