Woman shoots up Hixson neighborhood

This corner in the Cloverdale neighborhood is where Chattanooga police stopped and arrested Julia Shields after her shooting spree Friday afternoon.
This corner in the Cloverdale neighborhood is where Chattanooga police stopped and arrested Julia Shields after her shooting spree Friday afternoon.
photo Julia Shields is accused of driving around Chattanooga and shooting at people. She was arrested after leading police on a car chase, police say.

Jennifer Clouse was standing in her yard Friday in her quiet Hixson neighborhood when she saw a woman quickly drive past her house holding a gun out of the window as if it were a cigarette.

"She was just casually holding a gun, and wearing a baseball hat," said Clouse, who lives on Cloverdale Drive. "It was crazy. ... This is a pretty quiet area."

Clouse said the woman drove past her house, ignoring the stop sign and turning right onto Norcross Drive.

"I saw the gun and said to myself, 'I'm going to go inside,'" Clouse said.

Next, she heard police sirens and watched through windows as multiple police cars chased after the woman down the hill.

From inside her house, Clouse said she heard the scream of sirens throughout her neighborhood.

"Then, all of a sudden, the sirens stopped," she said.

Clouse did not recognize the driver, but the woman arrested for attempted murder, Julia Shields, 45, lived just up the street at 1504 Cloverdale Drive.

Police said Shields, blonde and wearing body armor, raced through the neighborhood, past well-manicured lawns and simple brick houses, firing multiple shots out her window at people and cars.

Chattanooga police officers received a report of shots fired at 1300 Cloverdale and arrived at 3:52 p.m. Friday, according to a news release.

Officers found two people who said they were at a stop sign when a woman pulled up in a dark-colored sedan and fired shots into their vehicle, hitting and disabling the radiator.

Then more calls reported a woman pointing a firearm at people as she passed them in her car, and that she fired at another vehicle in the same area. Police found Shields sitting in her vehicle in the Stuart Heights Baptist Church Parking lot on Hixson Pike, the release stated.

Shields sped away in her car and led officers on a chase down Highway 153 and Hixson Pike, still pointing her firearm at vehicles she passed.

Eventually, officers stopped and arrested Shields at Cloverdale Drive and Koblan Drive, near the spot where the shootings occurred and just blocks from her house. She pointed her firearm at an officer, but was taken into custody without incident or injury, the release stated.

Shields has been charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder, seven counts of aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, felony evading arrest and felony reckless endangerment.

Shields is being held at the Hamilton County Jail, and as of Saturday night her bond had not been set. She will appear before General Sessions Judge Gary Starnes on Jan. 5.

Contact staff writer Kendi Anderson at kendi.anderson@timesfreepress.com or at 423-757-6592.

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