Two Chattanooga moms shot during violent Thanksgiving week - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Two Chattanooga moms shot during violent Thanksgiving week

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

After going 32 days without a gang-related shooting, Chattanooga just recorded one of its most violent weeks of the year.

Ten people have been shot since Saturday, November 21, with at least two dead and two others fighting for their lives and in critical condition at the hospital.

Most recently, a 20-year-old woman was shot Saturday night in the 2500 block of O’Rear Street. Police say her Chevy Impala was shot several times, with a bullet striking her upper lip area below her nose. She had a child in a car seat that was not injured and appeared to be asleep.

That marks the second local mother to be shot in the past week. Monica McMillon, 37, was murdered in a drive-by shooting in her Alton Park home last Tuesday with her three children inside at the time.

"It's absolutely unacceptable that there are people in our community so violent, so cavalier, so brazen about the value of human life that they'll take a mother from their children,” said Chief Fred Fletcher. "They have lost a family member and they are aware of it. Now whether they saw, heard or sensed it… that is unacceptable trauma to our community."

Fletcher said the police department offers counseling, social workers and chaplains to children and family members of victims to violent crime.

Just down the road from McMillon’s murder, neighborhood children gathered around the Alton Park crime scene where Darrel Jones was shot and killed Thanksgiving afternoon. Police think they know the killer, but no witnesses will talk.

Hours later, Desmond Benford was asleep on the couch with his girlfriend in his apartment when he was shot in the head. His girlfriend said she heard a gunshot, glass breaking, the television turn off, and then more gunshots. When she tried to wake up Benford, she realized he had been shot in the head. Witnesses said they watched two young men run away from the crime scene but were unable to provide police with anything more than a basic description.

Police fear if the no-snitch culture continues, there will be more crime waves like the one Chattanooga experienced this past Thanksgiving week.

"There are criminals out there who have hurt people and killed people who need to be in jail this Christmas,” Fletcher said.

TIMELINE

Sunday, 11/29

  • No shootings

Saturday, 11/28

  • 20-year-old female shot: critical condition. No suspect information available.

Friday, 11/27

  • Desmond Benford: critical condition. No suspect information available.
  • 5 arrested in attempted drive by. Arrested with two firearms.

Thursday, 11/26

  • Darrel Jones: killed. Witnesses declined to cooperate.
  • Christina Strickland: non-life-threatening injuries. Strickland could not provide suspect information or the location of the incident.

Wednesday, 11/25

  • No shootings
  • 4 arrested (possible robbery in progress) with drugs and firearm.

Tuesday, 11/24

  • Monica McMillon: killed. No suspect information provided to police.
  • Pritchett, Jasmine (23) and  Billingsley, Devontae (20): non-life-threatening injuries, not confirmed as struck with a bullet. No suspect information available. Both stated that they did not see anything.
  • Darrius Starling: non-life-threatening injuries. Shot downtown in Miller Park. Arrest made, Anthony Thomas.

Monday, 11/23

  • No shootings

Sunday, 11/22

  • Deonte James: non-life-threatening injuries. No suspect information available.

Saturday, 11/21

  • Benny Ray Colley. Shot twice. Believed to be intoxicated and unable to provide detailed suspect description or location.

Homicides are at an 18-year high, with the most recorded year-to-date since 1997. The 29 this year in Chattanooga include 3 justified homicides. In 1997, there were 36 homicides. Chattanooga saw a spike in murders in the mid-90s when the city became introduced to crack cocaine, according to detectives who worked during that era.

Police say overall violent crime is down 3.9% from this time last year, but shootings are up, with 110 shooting incidents recorded this year in Chattanooga.

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