One killed, one hurt in Chattanooga shooting; police searching for suspects

One killed, one hurt in Chattanooga shooting; police searching for suspects

July 30th, 2011 by Kate Belz in News

A K-9 unit officer stops while on patrol to talk with a friend near the house, background, where two people were shot early Thursday morning. One person was killed and another was wounded in the shooting, which occurred just after midnight in the 2300 block of East 17th Street.

Photo by Jake Daniels /Times Free Press.


• 16 - Homicides in Chattanooga as of Thursday

• 14 - Fatal shootings

• 40 - Shooting incidents with injury (does not include number of victims)

Source: Times Free Press records

Blood still stained the doorway of a small East Side home Thursday morning, a few hours after a man was shot to death and his girlfriend seriously wounded in a home robbery.

"She was propping the door open with her body, and you could tell she was still bleeding really bad when [paramedics] moved her," said Brooke Floyd, who lives across the street on East 17th Street, one street down from East Side Elementary School.

The woman, 38-year-old Yetta Harris, was shot in the stomach and the chest, but is expected to survive after surgery, said Chattanooga Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary.

James Frederick Williams Jr., 23, died after an assailant fired multiple gunshots into his chest during a robbery, according to Chattanooga Police spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary. He is Chattanooga's 16th homicide of the year.

A young boy and a baby girl were in the home during the robbery, along with Harris' 18-year-old son. According to the 18-year-old -- who police have not named -- two men entered the home, demanding money at gunpoint.

Police stayed at the crime scene until after daylight. They are looking for at least two suspects, but no additional information has been released.

Weary said drugs may have been a factor in the attack because detectives found narcotics in the home.

Williams had a history of drug dealing and had a Sept. 1 court date scheduled for year-old charges of aggravated assault, resisting arrest and possession of crack cocaine for resale, Hamilton County Criminal Court records show.

He also had a General Sessions Court date scheduled for today to face a charge of possession of drugs for resale from May.

Harris also has a criminal history in Hamilton County. She pleaded guilty to theft in 1997 and was arrested for vandalism and malicious mischief charges in May. Her next court date is scheduled for Aug. 19.

"They had troubles. But nothing to deserve this, getting shot up like that," said Cotillyah Johnson, 32, who lives a few houses down from the couple's home.

Floyd, who has lived in the neighborhood for 16 years, said the neighborhood has been riddled with crime over the last decade -- break-ins, drug deals and other shootings.

"But this is pretty much the worst I've ever seen," she said.

Out of the city's 16 homicides this year, 10 of the cases have been closed, according to Weary.