Man facing attempted first-degree murder charge in weekend shooting at East Brainerd ball fields


  photo  Hamilton County Sheriff's Office / Davonte Harris was arrested on charges including attempted first-degree murder, reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
 
 

A Chattanooga man is facing an attempted first-degree murder charge for allegedly shooting another in a parking lot Friday night outside an East Brainerd ballpark, according to police.

Davonte Harris, 24, is also facing charges of reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, Chattanooga Police Department spokesperson Sgt. Victor Miller said in a statement.

The shooting was intense and terrifying, the East Brainerd Youth Athletic Association, who operates the ball fields, said in a statement. The ballpark was scheduled to host a pre-season tournament Friday and Saturday.

"This is something we would have never imagined occurring at our ballpark," the statement said.

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Chattanooga police responded to a person shot at about 9:30 p.m. Friday in the 8000 block of Batters Place Road, according to police.

The incident was originally dispatched as shots fired but was quickly upgraded to a person shot, the statement said. It was initially believed to be an active shooter.

"When officers arrived on scene, they quickly determined that it was not an active shooter and was an incident between the suspect and victim," the statement said.

Officers found Chansler Williamson, 30, suffering from life-threatening gun shot wounds to his chest and leg, an affidavit in the case states.

Williamson was transported to Erlanger hospital, the affidavit states.

Harris, who was later identified as the alleged shooter, was located and arrested. He was transported to Hamilton County Jail and is being held on a $250,000 bond, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office inmate search.

There was allegedly a prior interaction between Harris' girlfriend and the victim, the statement said. Following the encounter, Harris allegedly exited a vehicle and began shooting at the victim while he was walking through a parking lot.

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Harris allegedly told authorities he was acting in self-defense, the affidavit states.

The athletic association intends to commit resources to on-site law enforcement and additional security measures for all remaining games, according to its statement.

"We are determined that this event will not define us as a park or our season," the statement said.

President Chad Adams and Baseball Director Gordon Parker did not immediately respond Monday to emails requesting additional information about security plans.

The pre-season tournament is scheduled to pick back up this Saturday, the association said on its Facebook page.

Harris is expected to appear April 10 in front of Hamilton County General Sessions Judge Gary Starnes. Harris pleaded guilty to possession of a handgun while under the influence in 2020 and was required to forfeit his weapons, according to the Hamilton County Criminal Court website. Harris has pleaded guilty to other driving-related offenses.

Contact Sofia Saric at ssaric@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.

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