Labor Day shootings leave two dead, three injured

Bystanders take cover in a ditch as a fight breaks out at the scene of a triple shooting.
Bystanders take cover in a ditch as a fight breaks out at the scene of a triple shooting.
photo About 1 p.m., while waiting for a comment from police, a reporter witnessed bystanders begin to scream at each other, with one yelling, "He has a gun." Onlookers took cover, and some ran into a nearby church.
photo Patrolman Curtis Morris, pictured, pulls out his semi-automatic weapon as a fight breaks out at the scene of a triple shooting on Labor Day.
photo Bystanders move to take cover in a nearby church as a fight breaks out at the scene of a triple shooting in East Brainerd.

The Labor Day holiday turned deadly Monday after two people were killed and three others injured in separate shootings across Hamilton County.

Rashaud Taylor, 23, and Jasmine Hines, 22, were shot to death early Monday and a second unidentified woman was wounded in a triple shooting in East Brainerd.

Police said they received a report about the double homicide at 6:24 a.m.

Officers responding to 7458 Pinewood Drive said they found two victims, a man and a woman, dead at the scene. Another victim, a woman, was taken to Erlanger hospital. Officers did not release the names of any of the victims, and the condition of the woman at Erlanger was not available.

Pinewood Drive is off Gunbarrel Road, about a mile north of Hamilton Place mall. The neighborhood is a mix of older homes on large lots with new condominium and townhouse developments.

Sonya Williams, the owner of the house where the shooting occurred, said her nephew was living there. She said she had visited the house the previous evening and her nephew was starting up a grill for a cookout, but she said she left around 4 or 5 p.m. She said her nephew was not harmed in the shooting.

It was unclear whether any of the victims lived in the house.

Officers blocked off the street while crime scene investigators pored over the brick-and-shingle residence. The bodies were removed from the home about 4 p.m.

A crowd of neighbors and relatives of the victims gathered throughout the day near the house, consoling each other and waiting on additional information from the police. While police had not confirmed the identities of the man and woman who were killed, several relatives said they had seen Facebook postings about the shooting, so they came to the location.

Jermaine Nelson, who said he was the uncle of one of the unidentified victims, said his relative was a young man who didn't understand the danger of being around the wrong group of people.

"You could tell him that he should watch out about who he was with, but he would not listen," Nelson said.

No details on how the shooting occurred or a motive were available.

About 1 p.m., several people began shouting loudly about half a block from the shooting scene and a fight broke out. Several bystanders rushed toward the house where the fight occurred but quickly turned back, with one woman yelling, "He has a gun."

A police officer on duty at the scene, Curtis Morris, pulled out his semi-automatic weapon while many of the relatives of those involved in the earlier shooting dropped to the ground beside the road and then ran into the nearby Hawkinsville Missionary Baptist Church, for shelter. The pastor of the church, the Rev. Bobby Hampton, is a police chaplain who was at the scene.

No shots were fired and officers restored calm. It was not clear whether police made any arrests.

A fourth person, 25-year-old Tyrel Patton, was shot Monday morning on Cannon Avenue in an unrelated incident. Police said he was listed in critical condition.

A vehicle that may have been involved was described as a light gray or light silver SUV with tinted windows. No information on a suspect was available.

In a statement, Chattanooga police Chief Fred Fletcher said, "Our hearts go out to the victims and the families of victims in Monday's senseless violence."

Fletcher said police officers are "working directly with the community and aggressively pursuing a number of leads while providing support to the victims and families of victims."

He urged anyone with information about either crime to contact the Chattanooga Police Department.

On Monday evening, a person was shot at a gas station on Dayton Pike, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

Officers responded to the BP Gas Station at 13424 Dayton Pike about 5:15 p.m. and found Adam Brown, 33, with a gunshot wound, according to the sheriff's department.

The victim was taken by ambulance to a local hospital where he continues to receive medical treatment.

The gas station is about three miles north of where U.S. 27 and Tennessee Highway 111 split.

At approximately 7 p.m., Donald Stuard II, 29, was arrested at a residence in Rhea County as a suspect in the shooting by Hamilton County Sheriff's Office detectives with the assistance of Rhea County Sheriff's Office deputies.

Contact staff writer Steve Johnson at 423-757-6673,, on Twitter @stevejohnsonTFP, and on Facebook,