UPDATE: Suspect in triple murder arrested, victims named - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Suspect in triple murder arrested, victims named

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HAMILTON COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Nineteen-year-old Derek Morse, accused in the triple murder in Lookout Valley Wednesday night, has a preliminary hearing date set for May 8.

Morse is the only suspect in custody in the killing of three men, and the wounding of another man near Kellys Ferry Place.

Friday's bond hearing, which Morse did not attend, was to address other, unrelated charges. But his bond was set at $5.25 million for the killings.


PREVIOUS STORY: The victims have now been identified as 53-yr-old John Lang, 29-year-old Caleb Boozer and 24-year-old Jon Morris.

The 16-year-old also shot is recovering in the hospital where he told investigators there's at least one more shooter still on the loose.

The teen survivor tells investigators two men drove up to the camper-home and starting firing shots one after the other, one saying quote "make sure they're all dead."

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond says this appears to be a targeted shooting, not a random act of violence.

"How could someone be so awful?" said Andrea Hanawalt.

Andrea Hanawalt was shocked when she drove up on the scene minutes after the murders.

"I was parked right there when they found the casings and that's when they made me back all the way up," said Hanawalt

Family members of the victims arrived on the scene and turned to her, a stranger, to make calls the hospital and morgue, to find out if it was their loved ones gunned down. Investigators weren't releasing that info yet.

"She was trying to find out, found out he wasn't," said Hanawalt.

Deputies arrested 19-year-old Derek Morse early Thursday morning. They found a black Hyundai registered under his name at a nearby motel.

Channel 3 was the only camera rolling as they made the discovery just a few miles away on browns ferry road.   But they say there is at least one more shooter still on the run.

Sheriff Hammond says it's possible drugs could've been the motive due to the criminal backgrounds of Morse and one of the victims, Caleb Boozer.

 Detectives say the 16-year-old victim is recovering in stable condition at a local hospital. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The victims of Wednesday's night's triple homicide are:

  • John F Lang, 53
  • Caleb N Boozer, 29
  • Jon E Morris, 24

New information released Thursday afternoon says there were two gunmen involved in Wednesday's night's triple homicide in Lookout Valley.

The surviving victim told investigators he heard the suspects say "Make sure they're all dead."

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond says his agency is looking for one, or possibly more suspects from the incident.

Hammond also said the sole surviving victim had "serious, serious injuries."


PREVIOUS STORY: One person has been arrested in connection with a triple homicide in Lookout Valley.

Investigators from the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office say they responded to the 300 block of Kelly's Ferry Place just after 7 Wednesday night on a shooting.

When they arrived they found three men dead and one with a gunshot wound.

Officials say the shooter is 19-year-old Derek Morse. Morse was arrested Thursday morning on attempted criminal homicide. Additional charges are pending.

Morse has a lengthy history with the law according to the Hamilton County General Sessions Court including:

  • Assault, domestic assault
  • Disorderly conduct
  • Firearms violations
  • Various drug offenses
  • Theft
  • Fraud
  • Forgery
  • Identity theft

PREVIOUS STORY: All investigators and emergency crews have left Kelly's Ferry Road after almost 11 hours on the scene.

The crime happened near 4509 Kellys Ferry Road off Cummings Highway. That's about a half mile from the Tennessee Highway Patrol headquarters.

Channel 3 crews drove around the crime scene after the police tape was removed early Thursday morning, to find what appears to be a mobile home neighborhood.

Three people were killed and another severely injured in a shooting Wednesday night in Lookout Valley.


Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond says the one person was treated at a local hospital for severe injuries and that it is highly uncommon to have three deaths in one scene.

The incident took place at on Kellys Ferry Road, says Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Janice Atkinson.

The original 911 call came into the Emergency Call Center after 7:00pm Wednesday night.

Investigators have been at the crime scene all night, gathered evidence and information, but currently the HCSO has not released information on the victims or any possible suspects.

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