Chattanooga police arrest suspect in connection with violent domestic dispute

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office / Ronald Wesley Spencer aka Ronald Spence
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office / Ronald Wesley Spencer aka Ronald Spence

Chattanooga police said they have arrested a suspect in connection with a Sept. 9 shooting on South Lyerly Street that left a 26-year-old woman injured.

Ronald Wesley Spencer Jr., 30, aka Ronald Spence, of Chattanooga, was arrested Oct. 8, according to an affidavit from the Police Department.

At around 5:40 p.m. officers responded to a person shot at the 2000 block of South Lyerly Street.

"Upon arrival, the police observed a female shot and immediately rendered aid," the affidavit said.

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Spencer is the father of the victim's son and shot her after a verbal argument turned violent, according to the affidavit.

"She was on the phone with Mr. Spence (Spencer), but it escalated into a verbal altercation," the affidavit stated. Spencer kicked in the rear door to her residence and then displayed a weapon to the victim when she went to investigate, the affidavit stated.

"(The victim) also advised that (Mr. Spencer) Spence pistol-whipped her with a handgun and then shot her," the affidavit stated. Spencer then took their child and her vehicle and left.

Spencer allegedly pointed a gun at his son's head during the argument and said the mother "wasn't taking him" before shooting her as she ran to get help. She was taken to Erlanger hospital and treated for five flesh wounds "consistent with bullet wounds" and a gunshot to her lower abdomen, according to the affidavit.

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Chattanooga police then put out an alert to other law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for Spencer and were notified of a man fitting Spencer's description who had jumped a fence to a residence on Kelly Street and carjacked the female resident after he bit her, according to the affidavit.

"Police did observe a bite mark on (the victim's) forearm," the affidavit said. She was treated at Erlanger hospital for that, as well as an injury to her ankle, the affidavit said.

Spencer, who has other charges pending -- including aggravated assault and retaliation against judge, juror or officer -- to which he has to appear before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes on Nov. 8, was charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of aggravated kidnapping, one count of especially aggravated burglary, one count of aggravated child abuse, two counts of aggravated assault, one count of possession of a firearm while being a felon, and one count of reckless endangerment.

Spencer is being held at the Silverdale Detention Center on a $570,000 bond. He is due to appear before Starnes for the attempted first-degree murder and related charges Thursday.

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Contact La Shawn Pagán at or 423-757-6476. Follow her on Twitter @LaShawnPagan.