A man was killed Monday by his mother's 74-year-old boyfriend after both men got into an argument, police said.

Sometime before 6 p.m., Ricky Shell, 31, had a verbal dispute with Alfred Copeland at 3805 Arrowrock Road, according to police spokeswoman Sgt. Jerri Weary. At some point during the altercation Copeland shot Shell, preliminary reports show.

Authorities pronounced Shell dead shortly after he arrived at a local hospital, Weary said. Police took Copeland into custody without incident.

Beyond that, police were short on details Monday night, unable to say why the men were fighting or the shooting's exact time.

"That's what the investigators are trying to figure out right now," Weary said.

Police were still gathering evidence and speaking with witnesses, wrapping up their investigation about 10 p.m. Monday. Some neighbors didn't want to be named, and others said they would wave at the people living at the residence where police say the shooting occurred.

Police tape surrounded the house on the hill, and lights were on in every room as investigators searched for clues.

Arrowrock Road is located off Bonny Oaks Drive.

An officer at the scene said investigators were questioning Shell's mother, but he declined to say how she may have been involved in the incident.

Weary did not release the woman's name to the media Monday night.

"As soon as charges and more details become available, more information will be released," Weary said.

Neither Copeland nor Shell has a criminal history, according to Hamilton County General Sessions Court records.

Shell became at least the 79th shooting victim in Chattanooga this year. As of Monday night, there have been 14 shooting deaths and 65 shootings with injury in the city.

Contact staff writer Chris Carroll at or 423-757-6610.