Suspect arrested after officer-involved shooting

Suspect arrested after officer-involved shooting

June 20th, 2018 by Emmett Gienapp in Breaking News

Joel Harris

Joel Harris

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Court records identify the suspect shot by an officer on June 16 as Joel Harris, 50. 

Two officers responded to the 400 block of Tunnel Boulevard at 7:35 p.m. on a report of a disorder involving a weapon in an apartment, according to an arrest report. Officers found Harris in the parking lot, but he refused to obey verbal commands and instead fled on foot. 

An officer chased Harris on foot into a nearby apartment building and Harris allegedly pulled a firearm out of a bag he was carrying, firing a shot in the direction of police as they all ran into the yard of the apartment complex. The pursuing officer returned fire. 

At that point, the other officer reached the yard and saw the suspect running in his direction with a firearm in his hand. Harris pointed the gun at the officer and fired at least one shot before the officer shot and struck him in the leg. 

Harris initially refused to drop the gun, even as he sat on the ground wounded, but finally threw it away when commanded to by one of the officers. The gun was a 9mm Luger Hi-Point that had been reported stolen in Chattanooga on May 29, 2017. 

A total of four spent 9mm shell casings were recovered by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office crime scene unit. Harris was also found to have multiple convictions for domestic offenses which prohibit him from possessing a weapon. 

Per Chattanooga Police Department policy, the two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The Hamilton County Sheriff Office will be handling the criminal investigation.

Harris is charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, unlawful carrying or possession of a weapon, resisting stop, frisk, halt, arrest or search, reckless endangerment and theft of property. He is next scheduled to appear in court before General Sessions Judge Christine Sell on June 27.