Community response to Chattanooga's violent 4th of July weekend - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Community response to Chattanooga's violent 4th of July weekend

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Chattanooga Police are now investigating three different homicides that happened in less than 24 hours. 
 
Officers have been working extra hours and extra shifts, not just this weekend, but for the past several months to help combat Chattanooga's gang violence. 

READ MORE | UPDATE: Two dead after "gang-related" shootings overnight
            
Channel 3 is learning when CPD needs back up, there are several local agencies on stand-by to help them.

Red Bank Police Chief Tim Christol said they've been assisting CPD for about the past six months. Anytime there is a need for additional resources, other neighboring agencies help by answering patrol calls or assisting in the focused enforcement efforts.

READ MORE | Father of 9 killed in gang-related shooting

The assistance is not just for homicides and shootings, but in this case, Chief Fletcher said they are currently getting help from those agencies.

"We're lucky to have good regional partners," Chief Fletcher said, "We've already called our regional partners to help back us up in the event that anything else happens or the work load becomes too great for the Chattanooga Police Department."

Chattanooga's violent weekend left 10 people shot and two killed in three drive by shootings. And a woman found murdered in her Main Street Courts home.         

"And he saw a load of people down the street, jump in the car and leave, evidently it wasn't firecrackers like I thought in front of my house," said Janie Louallen.

Louallen lives on Jarvis avenue where 28-year old Marcus Cal was killed.

Police said two cars drove by around 11:15 Monday night and shot into a crowd of people, killing one and injuring two others.          

Some of the flying bullets hit Louallen's car parked on the side of the road.

"It's scary," she said, "It made me feel unsafe."

Less than an hour later police responded to another drive by shooting two miles away on Woodmore Drive.

Police believe both these shootings are related and are the result of gang violence.

"I'm surprised no children got killed over there because in the day time children play in that yard," said Ezra Harris.

 Harris is the president of the Woodmore Neighborhood Association said the home where 28-year-old Alex Freeman was killed has had issues in the past.

"You see 800 block of Woodmore Lane, 800 block of Woodmore Lane, well it's coming from them, they're the ones that's doing the shootings," he said.

Harris wants the family living there to straighten up --- or move out.

"We're going to sign a petition to ask them to move out, we're going to ask them to move because we're not going to tolerate this in our community," he said.

While police are searching for the shooters in the city's two latest murders, others have taken to the streets to pray for Chattanooga. Local minister and neighborhood leader Jeffery Evans said he's doing whatever he can to get people living in Chattanooga communities to put down the guns and find peace.

"It tears up the family, it tears up the neighborhood, tearing up the police department, tearing up the whole city," Evans said.
 
Freeman and Cal's deaths mark the 19th and 20th homicides so far this year in Chattanooga.         

According to Channel 3's records, if the violence continues at this rate, the city is on pace to have the most homicides since 1994. That year there were 50 homicides.          

Channel 3 reached out to Mayor Andy Berke's office for an interview multiple times Tuesday about the rash of violence and while the Mayor did not make himself available for an interview, Mayor Berke sent Channel 3 this statement:

              "I was briefed by Chief Fletcher, and he assures me our investigators are collecting evidence that will help us arrest those responsible for this weekend’s horrific violence. Our officers are working long hours and doing everything they can to bring these individuals to justice. I ask you to keep the victims’ families and our officers in your thoughts and prayers."

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