Thursday's deadly shooting marks Chattanooga's sixth shooting in seven days

Thursday's deadly shooting marks Chattanooga's sixth shooting in seven days

July 26th, 2019 by Rosana Hughes in Local Regional News

A piece of crime scene tape sits in the grass in front of a sign for the Menlo Park neighborhood at the intersection of Gillespie and Shallowford roads on Friday, July 26, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter

A SWAT vehicle is seen along Gillespie Road on Thursday, July 25, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

A SWAT vehicle is seen along Gillespie Road...

Photo by C.B. Schmelter

Crime scene tape lay at the foot of Menlo Park's sign reading "Family Friendly Community" Friday morning, hours after 20-year-old Devrin Houston was shot and fatally wounded just in front of the sign, located at the intersection of Gillespie and Shallowford roads.

It wasn't the first shooting to take place on Gillespie Road that Thursday. Just 12 hours earlier, 23-year-old Camaron Billips was shot by police in the 500 block after they said he threatened them with a gun as they carried out a search warrant for illegal firearms.

In just a year's time, Chattanooga police say there have been 11 calls to 911 for service at the home where police served the warrant (police haven't released the address) including a shots-fired call just four days before police served the warrant. Four calls were to report a disorder.

Three people — Billips, Demetrius Bibbs, 27, and Carmen Noble, 26 — have now been charged as a result of that search warrant.

A week earlier, a shooting left a 25-year-old man injured in the same block where Houston was killed Thursday evening.

Broken glass is seen at the intersection of Gillespie and Shallowford roads on Friday, July 26, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Broken glass is seen at the intersection of...

Photo by C.B. Schmelter

The 25-year-old told police he was riding in a car when he heard gunshots and realized he'd been shot.

It was a story similar to what police say happened to Houston.

Witnesses told police Houston was riding in a car when he was shot just after 6 p.m. He was taken by a private vehicle to a local hospital where he later died.

That morning, though, Houston posted to Facebook.

"I can't leave the house w/o my weapon that's my lifeline," read his last public post.

Soon after, his profile was flooded with posts from his friends and family mourning his death.

"Remeber that song we made Remeber them block days Remeber all dem times matching On Live [game service] together remeber when Nunu Died How Close We stayed," read one post. "I Love You G Foreva You Live on."

"Yall dont understand the pain behind this s——," another post read.

Others posted about how difficult it's been to come to terms with the news of his death.

"I Miss You And I [haven't] Stop Cryin Bout You Boy," one woman wrote. "It's Gone [hit] Me Hard to See You In A Casket. I'm So Sorry Devrin. I Miss You Boy. I Miss You Boy. I Miss You Boy. My Heart Hurt. I Can't Breath With Out Cryin."

But others were more angry.

"I Can't Believe This S——," one man wrote. "I Can't Even Cry I'm More Mad Than AnythinG I Cant Even Think StraiGht I Wanna Kill Everybody."

Since July 18 when the 25-year-old was shot in the 800 block of Gillespie Road, the city has seen six shootings in seven days. (That includes Thursday's officer-involved shooting.)

That same day, a 44-year-old woman was shot while driving in the 900 block of Roanoke Avenue.

Two days later on July 20, a 16-year-old boy was outside a home in the 2700 block of Sixth Avenue when he was injured in a drive-by shooting.

The following day, 28-year-old Tracy Calloway was shot in the 4600 block of Trailwood Drive. He died shortly after.

A piece of crime scene tape sits in the grass in front of a sign for the Menlo Park neighborhood at the intersection of Gillespie and Shallowford roads on Friday, July 26, 2019 in Chattanooga, Tenn.

A piece of crime scene tape sits in...

Photo by C.B. Schmelter

Then on July 25, police shot Billips. And Houston was killed a short time later.

Police haven't confirmed whether any of this week's shootings are connected.

Neighbors were reluctant to talk about the crimes when approached by a reporter Friday.

Houston's death marked Chattanooga's 14th gun-related homicide this year. So far, there have been 61 shootings resulting in 74 victims.

By this time last year, there had been 71 victims, 10 of whom died. And in 2017, there had been 88 victims including 21 deaths.

Contact Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter@HughesRosana.