UPDATE: Autopsy results show Ashley McKenzie killed by single gu - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Autopsy results show Ashley McKenzie killed by single gunshot wound

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Ashley McKenzie Ashley McKenzie
Ashley McKenzie Ashley McKenzie
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: The 20-year old Tennessee Army National Guard soldier, Ashley McKenzie, was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head, according to an autopsy conducted by the Hamilton County Medical Examiner's Office. 

The autopsy says that McKenzie was shot while answering the front door at 1703 Cambridge Drive.

McKenzie's death is the 17th homicide in Chattanooga of 2016. 


PREVIOUS STORY:  Service members who knew the Chattanooga woman killed in a gang-related shooting want answers. 20-year-old Ashley McKenzie was part of the Tennessee Army National Guard and was shot on Monday.

Friends of Ashley showed Channel 3 her boots, name tape, and bags from the Tennessee Army National Guard. They're holding those items a little closer after her life was cut short.

"Just why. Innocent person, innocent bystander. She didn't deserve to leave this earth at 20 years old," Specialist Aleshia Colbert of the Tennessee Army National Guard said.

Colbert is a long time friend and fellow service member who wants to know why Ashley was shot and killed at a home on Cambridge Drive on Monday. Chattanooga police said it was a gang related shooting.

It's unclear if she was targeted.

"How does this not wake ya'll up? Yes, okay, she was at home, but she wore the same uniform I wore," Specialist Jaliya Truss of the U.S. Army said.

Truss posted a video on Facebook on Tuesday after hearing about what happened to her friend. She's pushing for change.

Truss is in the military too, but met Ashley while working at Amazon, where the Central High graduate was briefly employed. Truss is currently stationed at Fort Bliss in Texas.

"There is that special connection because we both were in the military and that's like you losing someone when you're in combat. That was a battle to me," Truss said in a Skype interview.

Being a part of the military was an important part of Ashley's life. She was in the 230th Sustainment Brigade and worked in human resources. 

Ashley inspired Colbert to join as well.

"Once you go in, they build you up and tear you down mentally, physically, and she came out a way better person. She was still loving. She was still smiling and that is one thing we are truly going to miss about Ashley," Colbert said.

Friends told Channel 3 they're hoping someone will speak up so that justice can be served. They also said funeral arrangements haven't been finalized yet.

Count on Channel 3 to bring you updates on the case as it develops.


UPDATE: A community is in shock after a 20-year-old Tennessee Army National Guard soldier is the latest victim to fall to Chattanooga's gang violence. 

It happened late Monday night at a home on Cambridge Drive.

Police say Ashley McKenzie was rushed to the hospital after being shot in the head where she later died. 

Keaira Colbert remembered her friend as someone who wanted the best for those around her. 

"If you needed it, she'd give it to you. She'd do anything for the people she loved and cared about," she added. 

McKenzie had dreams that were bigger than her life in Chattanooga and the Tennessee Army National Guard gave her the opportunity to explore them. 

Friends say she had recently returned from a trip to Europe with her unit. 

"I always told her when she finished the National Guard, she could always go back to school and that was her plan, once she finished and came home," she added. 

But now McKenzie won't get the chance to live out the dreams she had her sights set on for a future with better opportunities-- A thought that's upsetting for Cassandra Robinson, who watched the Central High School graduate grow up. 

"This baby does not deserve to be going to the National Cemetery at the age of 20," she said. 

Friends say McKenzie was visiting her boyfriend's home when she was killed.

Police believe the shooting was gang-related but they're still working to determine who was the intended target. 

"Somebody knows what happened. They need to come forward. This family is grieving. Friends are grieving," Robinson said. 

There will be a vigil honoring McKenzie on the street where the shooting happened on Tuesday at 8:30pm. 

If you have any information that may help police, call 423-698-2525. 


PREVIOUS STORY: The Chattanooga Police Department is investigating an overnight shooting as a homicide.

CPD responded to reports of shots fired near the 1700 block of Cambridge Drive just after 11:30 p.m. Monday night. When police arrived they located one victim, suffering from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the head. 

According to CPD, the victim has been identified as 20-year old Ashley McKenzie.

Hamilton County EMS transported the victim to a local hospital where she later died from her injuries. 

Details surrounding the shooting are still under investigation. But, Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher said detectives are working on several leads.

"We believe there is a gang connection to this. The specifics about who was in the home and who she was visiting are still being followed up on by detectives," Fletcher said.

Investigators with the Chattanooga Police Department's Violent Crimes Bureau and the Crime Scene Unit were on scene investigating for about seven hours Tuesday morning. 

Police are investigating this shooting as a homicide. Details regarding a suspect and/or a motive has not yet been released.

This marks Chattanooga’s 70th shooting and 16th homicide in 2016.

Of the 16 homicides this year, McKenzie is the 7th female victim. It’s the highest number of female victims since 2012. An alarming statistic, but Chief Fletcher does not believe women are specifically being targeted.

"Regardless of her relationship to anybody, nobody deserves subject to this kind of random, brazen, cavalier violence and it is absolutely unacceptable,” Fletcher added.

Chief Fletcher said resolving the string of shootings is a top priority for CPD to bring justice to the victims and their families. 

CPD asks anyone with information regarding this incident to call 423-698-2525. 

Count on Channel 3 to bring you updates on air and online.

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