Cowart Street shooting leaves one person dead, one injured

Cowart Street shooting leaves one person dead, one injured

December 17th, 2017 by Rosana Hughes in Breaking News

A shooting in the 1400 block of Cowart Street early Sunday morning left one man dead and another injured, Chattanooga police say.

Both victims were taken to a local hospital. Torrie Porter, 24, suffered non life-threatening injuries, but Sharone Porter, 22, died.

Police were called to the location at 2:47 a.m., where they found the two men suffering from gunshot wounds in the parking lot across from Coyote Jack's nightclub, according to a news release from Chattanooga police.

The sequence of events leading up to the fatal shooting are currently unclear, but investigators are following all leads, including reports that a verbal argument took place between a suspect and the victims inside the nightclub before the shooting.

Tammie Taylor, co-owner of the nightclub, told the Times Free Press via email, "I would like to clear up false rumors circulating regarding a shooting last night. There was no shooting at Coyote Jacks. There was no shooting in the area while we were open for business."

Taylor said the shooting did not occur on club property and the shooter was never in the club.

"Even though our establishment was not involved, our heartfelt condolences go out to the family," she said.

Earlier this year, the club was put on lockdown after a shooting took place outside in May, according to WRCB-TV Channel 3. Police said a man fired multiple shots into the air and possibly toward a crowd of people and one at the side of the building. Taylor again said that suspect was not a patron of the club and was not on its property.

Coyote Jack's was formerly known as Bella Vita, which was the site of two shootings — one of which was fatal — in 2016. It had the same owners: Ronnie Berke and Taylor.

On March 13, 2016, Reuben Simpson, 35, was shot in the head in the early morning on Cowart Street, near the restaurant. Police said his wounds were considered minor. Two months later, a security guard, 40, was fatally shot in the upper chest at the location. Andrew Wilson, 31, was arrested and charged with criminal homicide.

Several people took to social media Sunday morning and afternoon to discuss the events they witnessed.

"Somebody got shot at coyote jack [sic]," Gerald Issmooth Reid Jr. posted publicly to Facebook. "Yellow tape. I like this club too. Shame that people can't have fun without wanting to hurt one another. Or just hate one another."

Anyone who knows or saw anything relating to Sunday morning's shooting should call the Chattanooga Police Department at 423-698-2525. Callers can remain anonymous.

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.


This is a developing story and was updated Dec. 17, 2017, at 9:45 p.m. with more information.