UPDATE: Police officer injured in Thursday's shooting, recovering
UPDATE: Erlanger is no longer treating any patients in connection to the shooting. Sergeant Dennis Pedigo was released from the hospital. He remains under hospital care at another undisclosed facility. He was one of those officers running toward the bullets, when he was hit in the ankle. His family tells Channel-3 he'll be in a cast and on crutches for the next few months. His colleagues call him "tough as nails."
Erlanger also treated Demonte Cheeley who was treated and released and Randall Smith who died from his injuries.
"You could hear the shots being fired, an officer had been hit." But what Chattanooga Police Sergeant Gary Martin didn't know that it was his longtime friend, Sergeant Dennis Pedigo, Jr., was the officer shot.
"That officer and I have worked together many, many years, have been through a lot together and he's probably one of the toughest officers I know," said Martin, outside Chattanooga's Erlanger Medical Center shortly after Pedigo was wheeled into the emergency room.
As Chattanooga Police and federal authorities piece together what happened at the Navy Operational Support Center where four Marines were fatally shot along with Sergeant Pedigo, the bullets actually began flying minutes earlier at the Armed Forces Recruiting Center on Lee Highway.
"Before you knew it, I saw him raise his gun and then I saw him take one shot and then I saw him take consistent shots after that."
Laneesha Lewis says she watched it all unfold from her car as she waited for a hair appointment at a neighboring salon. Landscaper Keegan Green, who was working at the time, initially mistook the first gunshot for a backfiring car.
"When he backed backed, I thought he was backing back to go somewhere else, but he backed backed just to reload and shot again," recalls Green.
"Knowing that it's not just hearing it on the news, that it happened somewhere else but that it happened here," says an incredulous Robert Stauffer. Stauffer, a retired Marine, came to the scene at the behest of his daughter, who just enlisted two days ago and heard about the shooting via social media.
"I have no reservations at all about her going in," sais Stauffer about his daughter's enlistment into the military.
Meanwhile back at Erlanger Medical Center, Sgt. Martin says he and fellow CPD officers are only concerned now for Sgt Pedigo's recovery from surgery, as well as the welfare of the injured officer's family
"Taking care of his family, we feel like his wife and his loved ones are our responsibility right now," said Sergeant Martin. " That's what we want to do, is take care of his family, that's why we're here right now."
Pedigo is out of surgery and is reportedly doing well in a post-operative setting. He could be released as early as Saturday.
Erlanger says they also treated two wounded members of the military, one of whom has already been released.
Erlanger officials say they will release updated information on the conditions of the remaining gunshot victims as it becomes available.
Saturday, January 20 2018 8:07 AM EST2018-01-20 13:07:44 GMT
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