Life - all life - is precious.
So it was tragic when a local 17-year-old, Darrius Townsend, was shot and killed Wednesday morning.
The victim, gunned down in the Avondale community, reportedly had bullet wounds in his head and back.
Who shot him?
What was the cause of this shooting that resulted in the loss of a young human life?
There was no immediate answer to those questions, though the police investigation quickly got under way.
Unfortunately, this death was not an isolated event: It was reported by Chattanooga police that there have been 12 homicides in the city already this year - and the year is not yet at the halfway point.
Our people always should have reason to feel safe, without any fear of violence, as we go about normal lives in our community.
But some among us are willing to commit the worst of crimes, as this latest loss of life sadly reminds us.
Our police officers are seeking to find the answers, and to bring the killer to justice.
But the deadly crime cannot be undone.
The untimely loss of life in any circumstance is a tragedy. It is especially so when the loss of life was not the result of a mishap but of intentional violence.