Police detained two "persons of interest" Thursday after a shooting in front of a Captain D's on Highway 58 injured a bystander in a Food City parking lot across the busy roadway. The incident marked the 11th shooting in Chattanooga in six days.
Tracy Arnold, an assistant chief in the Chattanooga Police Department, said the victim, described as a middle-aged male, suffered a superficial graze wound on his back when a bullet ricocheted.
He said two people were detained shortly after the shooting at a home less than 2 miles from the scene in the 4800 block of Swan Road, but it is unclear whether they were shooters, victims or both.
Capt. Kim Noorbergen said officers responding to the scene were told the vehicle involved might be a white, four-door sedan, possibly a Chevrolet Impala, and that information led them to the home.
A witness Thursday afternoon said he saw one of the suspects in a white Impala thrust his hand through the car window and fire multiple shots in the Captain D's parking lot. He said he pursued the suspects himself for a minute before he saw officers arriving.
Another witness, Edward Griffin, said he was at the Walgreens across the street with his niece when he heard what sounded like 20 or more gunshots.
"We didn't know what it was," he said. "We got in the car because we didn't know what to do. It sounded like fireworks."
At the scene on Swan Road, officers and onlookers surrounded a two-story home in the middle of the quiet suburb while a tow truck pulled a white, four-door sedan onto its bed. A child's swing in the backyard swayed in the breeze.
Jamar Harden, a neighbor who had come to the nearby tennis courts to play with a friend, stood across the street watching. He said he's seen and heard about violence in Chattanooga, but nothing quite this close to his own home off of Highway 58.
"You just don't see that kind of thing up here," he said. "It's part of why people move here in the first place."
Thursday afternoon's shooting was the latest in a recent string of violent incidents, but authorities said they were unclear as to whether this shooting was gang related. An ongoing gang war has claimed the lives of two men this month and injured several more people in the last week, including two pregnant women.
Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6731.