The manager of a Chattanooga vape store was arrested and charged with attempted murder Friday in connection with the March shooting of a Marine in the parking lot of the Bar Louie restaurant.
On March 26, Benjamin Thomas Connally III, 30, allegedly shot Gunnery Sgt. Robert Driver Jr., 34, around 9:50 p.m. in front of the restaurant on the 2100 block of Hamilton Place Boulevard.
Driver is a Marine recruiter who worked in the office on Lee Highway that was targeted during the July 16, 2105, terrorist attack, another recruiter confirmed Friday afternoon.
According to a Facebook post signed by "The Managers," Driver was part of a group of military veterans who were awaiting the arrival of an Uber driver when they were accosted by a driver in a passing vehicle.
"The culmination of the situation being that [a person in the passing vehicle fired] a single shot, striking one of the gentleman [sic] in the shoulder before speeding off," according to the post.
In addition to attempted murder, Connally has been charged with aggravated assault and three counts of reckless endangerment. He will be held in the Catoosa County (Ga.) Jail pending extradition proceedings.
He also is being held in Catoosa for charges unrelated to the Bar Louie shooting, but a Chattanooga police spokeswoman couldn't clarify what those charges were. Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk was also unavailable to comment on details surrounding Connally's case.
Matt Lea, spokesman for the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, said once Connally is extradited, he would be held in the downtown Chattanooga jail until trial, but it's unclear how long that process could take.
Extradition can be quick or slow, Lea wrote in an email. "It depends on a variety of factors," he said.
The store that Connally manages, Vapor Tonics, has three locations in the Chattanooga area and sells electronic cigarettes. The store opened on Sept. 2, 2013.
Connally's last public status on Facebook was posted on Feb. 16, a little more than a month before he allegedly shot Driver.
"Why isn't there a standing billion dollar reward for the person who cures cancer, aids, heart disease, or any of the other terminal illnesses that affect our population?" he wrote.
"When will we begin to reward those who help others and don't just entertain them?"
Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at email@example.com or 423-757-6731. Follow him on Twitter @emmettgienapp.