UPDATE: Thursday 3:30 PM

CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Looking at the crime scene, Reggie Hemphill said, "I've been knowing him since I was 10 years old. It is just heart-breaking."

Hemphill said the murder of his close friend 53-year-old Herbert Strickland inside the Big-K Store Thursday morning, comes as shock. That's because he doesn't believe Strickland was the intended target.

"It shouldn't happen. I don't know what to say. It just shouldn't happen," said Hemphill.

Hemphill talked to Strickland Wednesday. Crime tape blocked off the area while emotions from witnesses ran high.

Screams filled the air as police consoled those closest to the victim. Investigators say Strickland was trying to guard another store customer when he was shot in the head, and the suspect fled in broad daylight.

"(Criminals) They don't run by a schedule. They don't care about themselves or anybody," said Chief Bobby Dodd.

Jason Battle watched as police flooded the scene off Dodson Ave. He works with victims of violence and was on the phone with a client who told Battle his friend was killed.  

"To go through this on top of all that we have been through is just more tragedy on top of everything," Battle said.

This is the 11th murder in the city this year and Hemphill said crime scenes in this are becoming all too common. Just last week, another man was killed just blocks from Dodson Ave. in a shootout.


CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – Police have identified the victim of a shooting on Dodson Ave. this morning.

Investigators say 53-year-old Herbert Strickland was shot and killed Thursday morning at the Big K market, 909 Dodson Avenue.

Police say Strickland had been shot in the head.

"[We're] not sure if gang-related," says Chief Bobby Dodd while briefing reporters at the scene, "but it's another senseless killing."

Chief Dodd says the Strickland was shielding another person at the time of the shooting.