Driver in 2019 Chattanooga shooting found guilty of facilitating first-degree murder

Staff Photo La Shawn Pagán / Gary Cross leaving the courtroom on Monday.

A Hamilton County jury on Monday found a man accused of driving the perpetrators to the scene of a shooting guilty of facilitating first-degree murder.

After almost three days of deliberations, Gary Cross, 28, was found guilty of driving a minivan to the East Chattanooga home where 28-year-old Tracy Calloway was shot and killed July 21, 2019.

Cross faces 15 to 60 years in prison, according to court officials. He will be sentenced June 1.

Jamichael Antron Smith, Antonio Dewayne Watkins and Prandel Fitzgerald Reid Jr. -- all arrested Aug. 2, 2019 -- were allegedly in the minivan Cross drove to Calloway's home at the 4600 block of Trailwood Drive the day of the shooting.

Cross was originally facing first-degree premeditated murder charges, but the jury chose the lesser charge of facilitation of a first-degree murder. Jurors received a list of charges -- which included the lesser charge -- that they could can pick from during the deliberation process.

On Friday, Calloway's family openly expressed their frustrations when, after a full day of deliberations, jurors said they could not reach a verdict and asked the court for another day to deliberate.

"I know that on both sides of the case, it's a frustrating situation," Hamilton County Criminal Court Judge Barry Steelman said.

"Some of you lost a loved one, who is not here. I understand that. I thank God that I have not experienced that, but I have seen, nearly 30 years now, that I've seen in this courthouse and it never gets any easier," Steelman said. "Also know that Mr. Cross' family has been without him for nearly four years while he's awaiting his day in court. I know that because of that, emotions can get high, but there's a time and place for everything. This is the place where we try to ensure that the decisions that are made are made in a way that are as objective and free and clear of emotion as we possibly can."

(READ MORE: Two more lawsuits filed against Hamilton County involving Silverdale)

Chattanooga attorney Melody Shekari, who represented Cross, had no comment on the verdict.

During the first day of the trial, a witness said he did not want to be there and testified about the day of Calloway's death. The District Attorney's Office asked he not be named by the news media because of safety concerns.

The witness further testified to being the driver of the second vehicle seen in video surveillance footage provided to investigators by a neighbor.

Calloway's neighbor, Dexter Posey, who described him as a "good guy," provided investigators with home-security footage that partially led to the arrest of the four men.

"Nothing like that had happened since I've been there," testified Posey, who had been living in the neighborhood for eight years at the time of the shooting. "It's still shocking."

Footage of the shooting was presented after a member of Calloway's family was removed, and during the video, a second family member left the courtroom saying, "I can't do it."

The video showed a minivan come to a rolling stop on Trailwood Drive, where two men exited the vehicle with what appeared to be rifles and immediately began shooting. The footage also showed a silver sedan behind the minivan speed up and briefly stop in front of the minivan before leaving the scene.

During opening statements, Assistant District Attorney Brian Finlay told jurors that Cross had "unleashed a shocking amount of violence" in the otherwise quiet neighborhood of Trailwood Drive.

Calloway, who was sitting in his vehicle at the time of the shooting, was hit by five bullets, one of which entered and exited the left side of his head, according to the testimony of Chief Deputy Medical Examiner Steven Cogswell.

Cogswell testified the bullet that hit Calloway's head "essentially destroyed" the front left part of Calloway's brain.

Contact La Shawn Pagán at or 423-757-6476.