“I was sitting on the front porch and pow, pow, pow. I just want to get away from here.”
Living with gunfire
Violence has been a frequent visitor to the neighborhood where four people were shot Sunday night.
› Nov. 27, 2015 — Entwadina Phillips, 20, driving with a child in her car, was shot in the face in the 2500 block of O'Rear Street.
› March 2 — Orlandus Metcalf, a 71-year-old retired city employee, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting outside his home on Taylor Street.
› April 15 — A 25-year-old woman was shot in the neck in a night-time drive-by shooting on O'Rear Street.
› April 16 — During a 24-hour spasm of gun violence, a person who was shot in the leg was found in the 2400 block of Taylor Street.
On the corner of a violent block of East Chattanooga, children ran screaming for cover in the dark as two men fired into the street Sunday night.
A 14-year-old boy said he hopped a fence and ran into a neighbor's house to escape the booming gunshots that punctured a 7-year-old boy's back, hit two teenagers and wounded a 34-year-old man in the foot.
A bloody holiday weekend ended with eight people shot, none fatally.
On Monday, police hadn't made any arrests in the multiple shootings on Daisy Street and wouldn't say whether they had identified any suspects in the drive-by shooting.
But some of the neighbors on Daisy Street and Wheeler Avenue said they're making plans to move after the latest spate of violence. The neighborhood, just a block off the revitalized section of Glass Street, has been plagued with at least four shootings — including one that killed a 71-year-old man — since November.
"I was sitting on the front porch and pow, pow, pow," said Frank Boyant, who lives next door to the house that was fired on Sunday night. "I just want to get away from here."
City Councilman Yusuf Hakeem, who represents District 9 where the shooting occurred, said the city can't tolerate any shootings, but especially those that hurt and maim children.
"We talk about being tough. Right now I don't think these young people think we're being serious. I think we have to show them that we're serious in government about curbing this violence," Hakeem said. "Enough is enough."
The 14-year-old witness said the neighborhood kids had just finished popping fireworks at each other Sunday night and were playing basketball on a goal near the street. That's when he said they saw a car drive by and two men hop out.
"Boom, boom. I looked at the little boy and he was shot," said the teenager. "They were aiming for somebody that was in that crowd."
The teenager said the little boy was bleeding and crying and he turned around to help him but a woman scooped the child up and ran inside. The teenager then called his mother.
"Mom, don't come outside," he told his mother, who won't be identified to protect their identities.
The mother said she ignored him, running outside to stay with her son as the police arrived and roped off the area. The injured — 34-year-old Charles Patton Jr., a 15-year-old boy and the 7-year-old — were taken to a hospital. Shaderrika Ruffin, 19, was grazed in the arm and treated at the scene.
“We talk about being tough. Right now I don't think these young people think we're being serious. I think we have to show them that we're serious in government about curbing this violence. Enough is enough.”
Monday, the witness' mother said her son had been cooking steaks on the grill for the 4th of July but had gone into the house because he was afraid to stand outside.
"He was white as a ghost last night and he's white as a ghost right now," she said.
The other weekend shooting victims included 31-year-old Natasha Jones, who police said checked into the hospital early Monday morning with a life-threatening gunshot wound. Investigators said they found Jones' vehicle riddled with bullets, but they didn't have any information on her condition.
On Sunday, police arrested 26-year-old Deonta Byrd in connection with the shooting of 24-year-old Damieon Coonrod and 42-year-old Cornelia Walker during a fight off Tunnel Boulevard. Police said Byrd fired a gun during the fight striking Coonrod three times in the left leg and once in the buttocks, while Walker was hit in her left leg.
In East Ridge, police said a 17-year-old girl accidentally shot herself with a revolver Sunday evening when she was visiting people in the Dogwood Place Apartments.
Contact staff writer Joy Lukachick Smith at email@example.com or 423-757-6659.