Chattanooga: Police ID Okie Dokie Mart shooting victim

Chattanooga: Police ID Okie Dokie Mart shooting victim

April 6th, 2011 by Carey O'Neil in Local Regional News

Seen Wednesday morning, the Okie Dokie food market at 1300 Roanoke Ave. was the scene of a shooting death Tuesday when a man was shot in the chest at close range shortly before 9 p.m. on the sidewalk in front of the store. Staff photo by John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press

Several friends of the man killed Tuesday night say the shooting was the deadly ending of an ongoing argument.

They also say police punched a witness and twice sprayed him with Mace.

The victim - identified by police as 22-year-old Cordarrius Armour - was shot point-blank in the chest Tuesday about 9 p.m. at the Okie Dokie Mart at 1900 Roanoke Ave.

As of 3 p.m., police had not released the name of a suspect or any other information about the incident. Police said Tuesday night that Armour died from his wounds.

This morning, more than 15 community residents said the 22-year-old's death was not gang related and described him as a quiet man who usually kept to himself.

"He didn't even come out of the house," said Tee Lee, whose daughter is Armour's goddaughter. "I just wish he'd gone [died] a different way."

Lee and friend Ashley Moore said they know who the shooter is and other residents said police had taken him into custody.

Lee said the shooter was gunning specifically for Armour, and pushed a man and a little girl out of the way to get to him.

Friend Terry Base said Armour was a hard worker but had a history of confrontations with the shooter.

"He was a good guy, he just made bad choices," he said. "Everybody has their devils in the closet."

Base said he headed to the store when he heard about the shooting, then saw several officers hit and slam a witness into a police car when trying to detain him.

Base and five other young men at the convenience store this morning said they saw five or six officers slam one of Armour's friends - who appeared to be in shock and covered in his blood - against a police car several times, punch him in the face, then spray a chemical in his face twice.

Resident Chris Hudgins, who also said he witnessed the incident, said the witness tried to walk away when police asked him to get in the police car. He said the witness kept his eyes closed and hands to his side and didn't resist police until they tried to handcuff him.

"The police were beating the hell out of him," Hudgins said. "They were just slamming him up against the car. They treated that guy wrong last night."

Hudgins, Base and other witnesses said an ambulance was called and the witness was taken to the hospital.

Police have not responded to requests for information about how the witness was treated.

Contact Carey O'Neil at coneil@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525.