Following a nearly two-day manhunt, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office announced Friday it had taken James Michael Farris into custody. He was apprehended in an area authorities searched the day before, near Berry Meadow Way, around 3:15 p.m.
Farris, 27, was wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of Frederick Williams Jr. that happened Wednesday evening at a home on the 7300 block of Shady Vail Lane. Warrants were issued for his arrest for criminal homicide, felony reckless endangerment, unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
Chattanooga police were first notified of a shooting in the Shady Vail Lane area shortly before 8 p.m. on Wednesday. Upon arrival, officers found 29-year-old Williams suffering from a gunshot wound, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
A multi-agency search operation for Farris began soon after in the vicinity of the 1000 block of Sequoyah Access Road. Around noon on Thursday, investigators said they saw Farris exiting a residence in the area and getting into a vehicle. As that was taking place, Chattanooga Police Sgt. Jeremy Eames said, Farris appeared to recognize law enforcement and immediately fled on foot into a nearby wooded area.
Throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening, law enforcement officers searched for Farris. Area residents were urged to remain indoors and ensure their homes, vehicles, storage buildings and garages were locked and secure.
The operation paused on Thursday night at around 10:30 p.m. without Farris' capture. As an extra precaution, additional law enforcement personnel were present Friday morning at Soddy Daisy High School, Soddy Daisy Middle School, Daisy Elementary, John Allen Elementary and Sequoyah High School.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation also announced early Friday that Farris had been added to its Most Wanted List and a $2,500 reward was offered for any information leading to his arrest.
"He should be considered armed and dangerous," TBI said on social media.
Farris had a previous run-in with police in January 2017 after he attempted to run over a Fort Oglethorpe police officer and then crashed his vehicle following a high-speed chase, all while his daughter, who was 4 years old at the time, sat unrestrained in the front seat. After the crash, police said Farris exited the vehicle and appeared to be brandishing a gun. Officers fired a shot at Farris and missed, at which time Farris attempted to evade them on foot. That is when police said they realized a little girl was in the passenger seat of the vehicle. She was crying and bleeding from cuts on her face and body.
When Farris was caught, he reportedly told officers: "You're going to have to shoot me. I'm not going to jail."
Farris was apprehended shortly after the little girl was discovered. Court records show he later pleaded guilty to felony evading arrest and child abuse and neglect.
Contact Kelcey Caulder at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6327. Follow her on Twitter @kelceycaulder.