UPDATED: Chattanooga police investigate 7th shooting since Friday
Chattanooga police are now investigating the Scenic City's seventh shooting since Friday.
Police responded to a report of a person shot near the 1200 block of E. 38th Street early Thursday morning.
Dispatchers confirmed that a victim showed up at a local hospital just after 1 a.m.
The shooting comes after a man was found shot to death in a Land Rover at the intersection of Bennett Avenue and South Greenwood Avenue at about 10 p.m. Wednesday.
Police had limited information Wednesday night.
Earlier that morning, a local man was found shot to death in a rental car with Alabama tags near Moore Road and South Terrace just after 2 a.m. The homicide was originally dispatched as a crash because the vehicle veered off the road and down an embankment. Police arrived on scene to discover the man had gunshot wounds.
Neither of Wednesday's homicide victims has been identified by police. Police say it's unclear if the shootings are related.
Both fatal shootings came on Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher's first day on the job.
Fletcher appeared on Thursday's morning show with Latrice Currie.
"The numbers show that the non-fatal group member involved shootings are down since we first started the focused deterrence efforts," he said.
The spike in shootings comes just three months after the city held its first call-in meetings where 25 young men with strong connections to violence were selected to participate in Mayor Andy Berke's Violence Reduction Initiative.
The program is based on one of John Jay College of Criminal Justice Professor David Kennedy's crime reduction models. The program works by offering participants resources including job skills, GED program and counseling to change their lives. If they don't choose to put the guns down, then they could face harsh federal sentences.
The city is currently reviewing four proposals submitted by non-profits to manage outreach services for the participants. Richard Bennett, director of non-profit, A Better Tomorrow, was arrested on open container and drug charges earlier this month. The city had planned to work with Bennett's organization, but will now select another non-profit to contract services with for the initiative.
Nearly half of the participants have found jobs since the March 20 meeting. Less than half the young men had been re-arrested on various charges as of last month, according to police.
In Chattanooga, like in most cities, most non-fatal shootings go unsolved with little cooperation from victims, city shooting data shows. There's a code of silence where the streets take care of the streets. Sayings like, "snitches get stitches," can turn out to be true.
Witnesses, and even victims, often do come forward out of fear of retaliation.
They could be shot. Their loved ones could be shot.
A shooting victim recently contacted Channel 3 Eyewitness News saying he was fearful someone would come back to finish the job.
Fletcher, who spent the weekend meeting with families and victims, says the crime initiative seems to be working.
"I can see it in their faces and in their postures. I saw it in their responses. They reached out to us," he said.
On Wednesday night, Chattanooga Police Capt. David Woosley said nearby residents at the scene of the Bennett Avenue shooting were cooperative with investigators.
"The neighbors have been incredibly helpful. They have been able to give us some specific information about what time they heard what and what time they saw what," he said. "The investigators are talking to them."
Earlier this week police investigated the following shootings:
- On Monday, police responded to a hospital to find that 19-year-old Kyle Worley was shot and wounded in his right shoulder while he was in his backyard at 2013 E. 14th St.
On Saturday, officers investigated a shooting in 1600 block of South Orchard Knob Avenue. Gabino Ramirez, 31, and Fernando Ramirez, 32, told police they were in sitting inside a vehicle when they were robbed and shot.
On Friday, investigators responded a shooting call at 7310 Standifer Gap Road when a 33-year-old man was shot and wounded in his leg during what may have been a botched home invasion robbery.
Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call Chattanooga police at 698-2525.