Theresa Provens got a phone call Sunday afternoon that's a parent's worst nightmare: Her 16-year-old son, Kentrell Provens, had been shot.
"I said, 'Oh, Jesus, no,'" she said. "He's my baby boy."
Provens died on the operating table at Erlanger hospital between 5:30 and 6 p.m., she said.
"He didn't make it. Just gotta be strong," she said. "He wasn't shot but once. It was in his side. It stopped his heart."
Chattanooga police said officers responded at 4:56 p.m. to 825 N. Germantown Road for a juvenile male victim suffering from a gunshot wound that was possibly life-threatening. Emergency responders picked up Provens from alongside the street and took him to a Chattanooga hospital.
People outside Franks 1-Stop Grocery, a convenience store nearby on Tunnel Boulevard, heard a number of shots fired. Neighbors and curious onlookers milled around the neighborhood amid a swarm of police cars and emergency vehicles.
"It was a drive-by," Provens said. "[Police] said it was a blue truck."
She thinks whoever shot her son may have been after another boy that he was walking with.
Kentrell had just made the honor roll at Brainerd High School, she said.
"He's a free-hearted boy. He trusts everybody. He's friends with everybody," Provens said.
Provens had the day off from her job at the Koch Foods chicken processing plant on Chattanooga's Southside and was resting when she said her other son, LaBrandit Williams, called and told her, "They shot my brother."
Williams, an alleged gang member, was sentenced to four years in prison in 2010 in the 2006 shooting death of Jermaine Southers at East Lake Courts.
But Provens said Kentrell, the younger son, wasn't in a gang.
"He wasn't into nothing," she said.
Chattanooga police Sgt. Wayne Jefferson, a public information officer, said the shooting of Provens was unrelated to a slaying Saturday nearby on Tunnel Boulevard.
Police have charged Gary Toney Jr., 19, and Javonte Davis, 17, with first-degree murder, robbery and other charges, including firing at pursuing police during a chase Saturday afternoon.
Jefferson said Sunday night there was no time frame to name the victim in the Saturday Tunnel slaying. The victim's body showed signs of injuries when police were called to an apartment at 404 Tunnel Blvd. shortly after 12:30 p.m. Saturday, but the cause of death hasn't been released.
The victim's vehicle was missing, and officers soon spotted it with three people inside.
A chase ensued, with those in the victim's vehicle firing back at the officers. The bullets struck and injured two bystanders, who were treated at a hospital.
Eventually the fleeing suspects wrecked the vehicle. Police took a juvenile girl into custody, and then arrested Toney and Davis shortly thereafter, according to a police news release.
Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at email@example.com or www.facebook.com/tim.omarzu or twitter.com/TimOmarzu or 423-757-6651.