Murder suspect caught, community takes stand against violence
A murder suspect is arrested in Chattanooga four days after police say he shot a man to death in the middle of the street. It's fueling the fire in a mourning community's efforts to raise awareness to violence on our streets.
Chattanooga Police arrested 35-year-old Santory Johnson around 2:45 p.m. Tuesday. They say he killed 24-year-old Christopher Jones Friday night. Jones' community is hoping to raise awareness in an effort to curb violence on their streets.
"I just started crying. I go 'that's the child that waves at me all the time,'" neighbor Jo-Ann Holiday Johnson said.
The sound of five gunshots awoke Jo-Ann Holiday Johnson late Friday night.
"I looked around the corner and I someone lying on the ground and I thought it was Santory because of the hat,' she said.
She was devastated to find out her neighbor, Santory Johnson is the murder suspect and the victim is Christopher Jones, a father of two. She says the two were always together. Witness told police they'd been arguing when Johnson pulled the trigger.
"They were friends. You don't come to somebody's house every day and not be his friend," Johnson said.
Candles, cards and teddy bears surround the utility pole next to where Jones died. Police picked up Santory Johnson nearby. He's charged with first degree murder, aggravated assault, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
"Out of this life, this innocent life had, hope something good is going to happen and I hope we're all a part of it," Johnson said.
This is Chattanooga's 17th homicide this year. 12 of those were shootings. Overall, there have been 99 shooting incidents in 2013 with 116 victims.
For East Chattanooga resident LaToya Holloman, they're more than just numbers.
"There's so many people that's been effected by violence so we want them to know we're praying for them and we care," LaToya Holloman said.
She's organizing a Stop The Violence march this weekend, hoping it gets people's attention and reminds them fights don't have to end someone's life.
"My prayers go out to his family and it's just sad how people can take another person's life," Holloman said.
The Stop The Violence march will begin at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at New Life Seventh-day Adventist Church at 2099 East Main Street. The march will end at East Lake Courts, where there will be speakers.
Santory Johnson was on Hamilton County's most wanted list in 2009 for two aggravated robberies. He pleaded guilty to lesser, robbery charges. In 2001, he was charged with two counts of attempted first degree murder, but they were dismissed. He pleaded guilty to two counts of aggravated assault.
Again, Santory was arrested Tuesday afternoon in the Alton Park area.