NASHVILLE - Led by Hamilton County lawmakers, the state House this week honored the memory of Chattanooga Police Sgt. Tim Chapin, who was gunned down Saturday while responding to an armed robbery at U.S. Money Shops on Brainerd Road.
Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, in whose district the shooting occurred, said Monday that the 51-year-old Chapin "had such a stellar reputation in Hamilton County and across the region that we have experienced grief beyond description."
His voice breaking, Rep. Vince Dean, R-East Ridge, a retired Chattanooga police lieutenant, called Chapin a "very close friend" and fellow church member at Abba's House.
"Remember them in your prayers," Dean urged colleagues about Chapin's wife, Kelle; son, Nicholas; and daughter, Allison.
Dean recalled a trip to the Bahamas that he and Chapin took about 20 years ago. These days, the two men's daughters are friends. Just two weeks ago, Dean noted, Chapin came by his house to pick up his daughter who had been visiting.
Last Thursday, Dean said, he had invited Chapin to meet him for breakfast on Saturday "which he didn't get to make."
Chattanooga police say Chapin, a 26-year veteran, was shot to death while pursuing robbery suspect Jesse R. Mathews. Another officer was shot in the back but was protected by body armor. Mathews was also shot and remains hospitalized with no information available on his condition.
Rep. Richard Floyd, R-Chattanooga, led House members in prayer.
"Lord, today our faith takes us through this trial," he said. "We don't understand, and we don't know what good can come from this. But you and you alone do. So I pray today for Officer Chapin's family, for his church, for his friends, and I'm grateful for the blessed hope that we will see him again."