Police have determined Chattanooga's first homicide of the year was justifiable and authorities have chosen not to file charges at this time.
Officers responded to the 1500 block of Ryan Street on Monday night around 10:45 p.m. on a report of a person shot and discovered a man lying on the ground, suffering from a gunshot wound, according to a news release.
Paramedics were called to the scene and they transported the man, Taji Webb, 26, to a local hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries.
Investigators determined there is reasonable belief the homicide is justifiable and the use of deadly force was necessary due to witness testimony and evidence collected at the scene. After consulting with the Hamilton County District Attorney General's Office, police determined no charges should be filed.
Asked for comment on the incident, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney General's Office wrote in an emailed statement, "The District Attorney does not file criminal charges. The District Attorney prosecutes charges which are filed by law enforcement agencies."
"Based on the information and evidence collected during the initial stage of the investigation, it was determined the person wasn't a flight risk or a danger to the community," said Elisa Myzal, CPD spokeswoman. "The investigation is continuing and CPD Violent Crimes Investigators are working with the Hamilton County DA's Office as this case proceeds."
Webb was arrested in Hamilton County multiple times prior to his death on a number of charges ranging from theft of property to evading arrest.
In one incident from June 2017, police responded to the 1800 block of Roanoke Avenue on a report of domestic assault. The alleged victim, Webb's girlfriend, said she was assaulted by Webb during a fight at her home.
She said they were arguing when he slapped her, grabbed her arm and bit her shoulder. Officers noted she had multiple bruises on her arm and shoulder, but she declined medical attention.
Her responses to a lethality assessment form intended to gauge the danger of her relationship indicated she was at risk, so she told police she would be staying at her mother's home, where she would be safe.
The following month, an officer on Sunbeam Avenue saw a black Toyota 4Runner pass him slowly and a search for the license plate showed it had been stolen. The officer searched for and found the car on South Moore Road, but when the officer made a U-turn to follow, the driver, later found to be Webb, pulled into a driveway and bailed out on foot.
A passenger, Webb's girlfriend who claimed he assaulted her the month before, got out the car on the passenger side. She said she thought Webb ran because he had warrants out for his arrest.
He was charged with evading arrest, use of stolen plates and driving on a revoked, suspended or canceled license, but the charges were dismissed in September, according to online court records.
Contact staff writer Emmett Gienapp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6731. Follow him on Twitter @emmettgienapp.