CPD: 12-15 gang members believed responsible for driving recent violence
It's been a busy weekend for Chattanooga Police after four people were injured in shootings over the past two days.Police believe a fight involving 12-15 of the city's gang members is driving the violence.
Monday, June 15th 2015, 6:23 PM EDT
Monday, June 15th 2015, 6:54 PM EDT
It's been a busy weekend for Chattanooga Police after four people were injured in shootings over the past two days.
Police believe a fight involving 12-15 of the city's gang members is driving the violence.
"This community will not accept this violence. We will help you if you let us. We will stop you if we make us," said Chief of Police Fred Fletcher.
Out of nine shootings in the past few weeks, six have happened in the past week.
"What we're seeing here is a lot of mobility between traditionally established gangs. People are forming their own groups for their own purpose," Fletcher said.
One man was injured in a drive-by shootings on Curtis Street on Sunday.
Another person was shot inside College Hill Courts that same day. Someone inside an apartment building with "Money Over Everything" graffiti was the target of a drive-by shooting. A stray bullet went through a neighbor's window, landing inside the refrigerator. Another bullet hit another window upstairs.
Right around the corner, more shots were fired on Poplar Street on Monday morning. The shooters waited until police left the neighborhood on another call.
"That's how brazen these criminals are. They waited until these police officers left for a few moments to protect another community member, and then they engaged in this violence," said Fletcher.
Joey Harris is the pastor of Harmony Baptist Church on Youngstown Road, which is right down the street from where two four-year-old girls were injured in the crossfire of another drive-by shooting last week.
"I believe there's great people here. It just so happens that it's laden with criminals that sometimes come into this area or may even be in this area for their residence," Harris said.
The church has several working security cameras and an alarm system, but several church members still brought up safety concerns.
"There's hope for people and there's hope for this area," said Harris.
Meanwhile, CPD will continue sending a strong message to violent criminals and their associates.
"If you're the driver in a shooting, we're coming after you. If you provide the car or the guns in a shooting, we're coming after you. Help us find the shooters, and help us stop the violence. Then we won't have to," Fletcher said.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Chattanooga Police Department at (423) 698-2525.