Chattanooga police hunt gas station shooter

Chattanooga police hunt gas station shooter

June 2nd, 2012 by Beth Burger in News

Crime scene tapes marks the site Friday of an early morning shooting at the Delta Express gas station at 3410 Brainerd Road in Chattanooga.

Photo by Tracey Trumbull /Times Free Press.

Chattanooga's fourth shooting in a week took place early Friday while the two victims were sitting at the gas pumps at a convenience store.

Gregory Watkins, 28, was shot to death outside the Delta Express at 3410 Brainerd Road. The shooter reportedly walked over to Watkins' car about 2 a.m., pulled out a gun and fired multiple times into the vehicle.

Lashonda Gonzalez, 22, who was in the car with Watkins, was also wounded. She was taken to a local hospital for treatment but police said her wounds are not life-threatening.

Police believe both Watkins and Gonzalez were targeted by the gunman.

On Friday morning, shards of glass still littered the ground near the gas pumps at Delta Express. A wrecker towed Watkins' red Toyota away just before rain began to fall.

Police are hoping to pull surveillance footage from the store's camera to get more information about the shooter, who was described as man with black braids.

This is the 37th shooting and the ninth homicide in Chattanooga so far this year. At this time last year, the city had counted 38 shootings and 12 homicides.

On May 26, 35-year-old Nicole Dupree was shot and killed at 1912 Citico Ave. A Hamilton County medical examiner's report shows Dupree died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Her boyfriend, 56-year-old Eddie Witcher, faces charges of criminal homicide, tampering with evidence and unlawful possession of a firearm.

The couple reportedly was arguing over pawning one of three guns in the household. Police have declined to say if any of the firearms were stolen.

On May 28, a group of men assaulted Gregory Joiner, 51, at 2208 Glass St. Joiner retaliated by pulling a gun and shooting 26-year-old Gerald Allen.

Both men were treated at local hospitals.

Later that same day, Corey France, 36, reportedly shot 47-year-old Jerry Jones and 33-year-old Karona Cunningham at 2217 E. 28th St. He told police he was showing off when he fired the gun into the ground and pieces of shrapnel wounded the pair.

France faces two counts each of aggravated assault and felony unlawful possession of a firearm.

Anyone with any information about the shootings can contact police at 423-698-2525.