Police use palm print to tie gang member to New Year's Day homic - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Police use palm print to tie gang member to New Year's Day homicide

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - Police say Darreo Harris, 22, opened fire at a car in the Waffle House parking lot on Brained Road around 3 a.m. New Year's Day.
       
Juan Boyd, 18, and a member of a rival gang, was killed.

It was the gunman's palm print that led Chattanooga investigators to arresting Darreo Shaquill Harris.

Police say the gunman, who ran as he opened fire, stopped abruptly at the rear passenger side of the 2004 Mitsubishi Galant where he used his left hand to brace himself on the car. The print traced back to Harris.

"The palm print had some smearing which would be consistent with the suspect having brace himself after running," the affidavit states. 

Boyd, who belonged in another gang, was killed when he was sitting in the car just before 3 a.m. at a Waffle House parking lot at 4903 Brainerd Road. 

The driver told police said he heard a gunshot ring out and the rear passenger window shatter. 

Video also shows a gunman, who ran along the sidewalk entrance to the restaurant. The driver said another shot was fired breaking  the front passenger window. 

The driver managed to make it down Brainerd Road before he noticed Boyd was injured and pulled over. He flagged down officers for help.

Police interviewed Harris about what he was wearing that morning. What he described matches the clothing worn by the suspect in the video.

Harris faces charges of criminal homicide, possession of a firearm while in commission of a felony and aggravated assault. His bond is set at more than a million dollars.

Harris is being interviewed by investigators but CPD has not yet said what led to the shooting.

"We do not, as of right now, know a motivation," said Chief Fletcher, "It's clearly gang involved."
Both the suspect and the victim are members of different gangs that have a long history of violence in the community.

"Long before I came here, they've been established gangs since long before I came to Chattanooga," said Chief Fletcher.

Harris has prior arrests for drug possession, in 2010, and gambling, in 2013.

He is expected to go before Hamilton County Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes Tuesday.    

This makes two arrests in the three homicide cases in Chattanooga so far this year.
    
Chief Fletcher believes there may be a connection to the still unsolved New Year's Day murder, the shooting on Dorris Street that killed 24-year old Deoaunte Dean.

"Victim Dean has some affiliation to gangs and we are pursuing those leads as a motive and for investigative possibilities in finding a suspect in this crime."
    
Less than a week after the first homicide arrest of the year, when 17-year old Cortez Sims was arrested in Knoxville for the murder of Talitha Bowman, Chief Fletcher wants to send the same message to people using violence in the community.

"The violence in Chattanooga must stop," Fletcher said, "We will come after anyone who would do us harm, with everything we have, as long as it takes."


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