Gang member wanted for East 17th Street murder - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gang member wanted for East 17th Street murder

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CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) -- Chattanooga Police think they know who pulled the trigger in a deadly shooting. They've issued warrants against Jerrico "RiRi" Hawthorne for murder, attempted murder, and robbery.

Witnesses identified him as one of the men who went into an East 17th Street house Wednesday night, demanded money and then opened fire.

James Williams, Junior was hit in the chest eight times and died a short time later during emergency surgery.

Williams' girlfriend, Yetta Harris, was also hit. She's still in the hospital but is expected to survive.

Hawthorne's grandmother, Robbie Boyd, told channel 3 Eyewitness News that she hasn't seen RiRi all week and was surprised when police came knocking on her door in the middle of the night.

"They wouldn't tell me nothing, 'naw we just wanna talk to him.' I said 'well, I don't know nothing,'" Boyd told us.

"When I came to the door they said 'we're looking for Jerrico' and I said 'he's not here' and they said 'well can we come in' and I said 'yes.' So I let 'em walk all the way thru my house."

Boyd said officers never told her they suspected her grandson of murder.

"When they came to my house I said 'Y'all act just like, the way you got my house surrounded like he done did a murder or something.'"

Hawthorne has made headlines before. He was featured on Crime Stoppers a few years ago after a shoot-out with opposing gang members outside the Boys Club. His grandmother convinced him to turn himself in.

"They was telling me if he don't give himself up we gonna kill him cause he's armed and dangerous. and all that you know."

Hawthorne did turn himself in and nearly 100 members of Olivet Baptist Church were with him to show their support for him.

This time, his grandmother is worried he won't stop before police find him. Her youngest grandson, 15 year old Alonzo O'Kelley was killed by Chattanooga Housing Authority officers a couple of years ago and she fears the same thing will happen to RiRi.

We drove by the house where Williams was killed and found a makeshift memorial there today.

Police aren't giving us the name of the man they suspect was with Hawthorne during the shootings.

If you know where they can find RiRi Hawthorne, detectives want to hear from you.

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