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Chattanooga police tape drapes the 4900 block of Jeffery Lane following a shooting in Emma Wheeler Homes late Tuesday.

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Man dies after being shot multiple times

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Chattanooga police question a couple about a shooting behind the 4912 Jeffery Lane address in Emma Wheeler Homes late Tuesday.

A trio of children who had just gotten home from school Wednesday afternoon stood on an apartment walkway at the Emma Wheeler Homes development — backpacks still on, staring at the blood spatters.

Across the street, parents said this isn't the first time kids in their neighborhood have been exposed to death.

"We moved here in September of 2015, and my kids have already seen three dead bodies," said Monika Hill, shooting victim Orlandas Gay's distant cousin. "This is our life every day."

At 26 years old, Gay this week became the most recent person to die from a gunshot in Chattanooga after a late Tuesday afternoon fistfight with another man in the street escalated. When police arrived at the scene in the 4900 block of Jeffery Lane at 5:25 p.m., they found Gay had been shot multiple times.

Emergency responders transported him to Erlanger hospital, but he died from his injuries a few hours later.

"I've still got a load of his laundry in my car. He paid me $5 to wash his clothes," Hill said. Hill was only gone for 45 minutes at an interview for a Waffle House job when her cousin was shot, but she said her 6-year-old daughter saw everything.

"My little girl was standing on the porch watching this man stand over [Orlandas] shooting him," she said. "When I got home he was over here all stretched out."

Gay had been arrested several times in Hamilton County on a variety of charges ranging from domestic assault to joyriding. Most recently, he was charged in February with aggravated robbery.

According to arrest records, the victim in that robbery said she returned to her home in the 2300 block of Union Avenue and allegedly found Gay in her living room with a trash bag and a backpack full of her belongings.

She said when she told him to hand over her property he left the bags and fled, but she told police there were still several items missing, including several televisions and laptops worth a total of about $3,000.

After Gay's death, investigators with the Chattanooga Police Department's Violent Crimes Bureau took out warrants for criminal homicide on Tavouras Thompson, 24, for the slaying.

They also announced Judius Antonio Thompson, 26, the man who was involved in the fistfight, had been arrested and charged with criminal responsibility for facilitation of a felony. Hill said she knew both men, since they lived down the street from her home and the shooting scene, but said, "they never gave me any reason to worry about them."

But now, she has to learn to cope with her cousin's absence and explain to her children why he won't be showing up at the house anymore.

Staring across the street to where he was shot she said, "This morning I was looking for him to be coming down this street, but he ain't gonna be walking down this little street anymore."

Gay's death marks Chattanooga's 14th homicide of the year, but on Wednesday at 12:38 p.m. officers responded to a call of a person shot after Ladarrel Bradley, 29, arrived at a hospital suffering from a gunshot wound. He was listed in critical condition late Wednesday afternoon.

According to information obtained during an investigation, police reported that the shooting occurred at a gas station in the 1300 block of East Third Street. Investigators are continuing to follow leads, and anyone with information is asked to call 423-698-2525.

Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at egienap@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6731.

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