Reports of gunshots not keeping people away from walking bridge - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Reports of gunshots not keeping people away from walking bridge

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- A flurry of calls to the Hamilton County 911 Center report gunshots fired on the Walnut Street Bridge over the weekend.

Chattanooga Police say the calls were unfounded. Adding they didn't find shell casings or a victim.

It's enough to make some stay home. Others still believe the Downtown and North Shore areas are safe.

"I feel like Chattanooga is probably the safest city I've ever lived in," says John Holloway with Chattanooga Ghost Tours.

Encouraging words during what seems to be a violent spring and summer in the Scenic City.

Shootings have happened around town, but one in March lead to a curfew for young people in Coolidge Park.

Many wonder if that just move the young people onto the bridge.

John Holloway and Amy Petulla run Chattanooga Ghost Tours, they are near the bridge almost every night and they see things.

"I mean, it's always crowded down here.  People love the walking bridge and there are just groups of kids that will roam around.  They're having fun, they're being social.  They get up to things," says Holloway.

"I don't see people misbehaving.  I mean, there's a lot of a kid and they're having fun and they can be loud," says Petulla.

"I'd say especially Friday, Saturday nights; it gets crazy down here with just the crowds.  You get a whole bunch of different types of people running around," says Holloway.

That running around is what's sparked the latest controversy.  Late Saturday night, maybe a dozen loud bangs and a stamped of young people.

"There's a flurry of gunshots and people are screaming and I don't know what's going on," says a 911 caller.

But were they gunshot or maybe firecrackers as police have posited after not finding any evidence of gunplay.

"People have gotten spooked about what happened, you know there have been two shootings in Coolidge Park and so now everybody's thinking, oh!  They hear a firecracker or a car backfire and okay, it's a shooting.  But, I don't feel unsafe down here," says Petulla.

The number of walkers, on Monday, say perhaps the majority of Chattanoogans have not yet thrown in the towel for this location and an evening stroll.

IIf this was a dangerous area, we'd move someplace else.  But, we've never had any problem other than like I said, the one night," says Petulla.

Late Monday afternoon, police disclosed they'd been unable to find shell casings Saturday night on the Walnut Street Bridge, nor were there any injuries reported.

They confirmed what officers referred to as "waves of juveniles", consistently causing congestion in populated walking areas outside of Coolidge Park.

Police are reviewing video of the incident from surveillance cameras mounted on the bridge.

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