UPDATE: Police consider double homicide to be gang-related - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Police consider double homicide to be gang-related

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Chattanooga police now describe Tuesday's double homicide as a "gang motivated incident."

They are asking anyone with information regarding this incident to call 423-643-5100. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Family members have confirmed the two victims as 20-year-old Thomas Holder and 17-year-old Rayshann Underwood.

Police have not identified the men yet. 

READ MORE | UPDATE: Police arrest man who shot a teen in face

They say two men were found dead at the cemetery this morning with gunshot wounds. 

Those who live near the cemetery said they're sad to hear what happened. 

"The cemetery is supposed to be a peaceful place it's real quiet something like that goes on and it's hard to believe," said North Brainerd resident, Bruce Holloway."People do anything. I just wonder why would people do that. When something like that happens out here it's usually someone from out of the community."

Chattanooga police spent nearly seven hours investigating the double homicide at Highland Memorial Gardens near Holloway's home. 

Around 9:45 a.m. former city councilman, Manny Rico found the two bodies near the woodline at the cemetery and called 911. 

Investigators marked off the cemetery and surrounding properties. Police said the crime scene was so large, 25 Chattanooga Police Academy cadets and federal agents were called in to help search for evidence. 

Some residents said the cemetery needs to consider options to keep the grounds safe, but question whether it will make a difference. 

"It should be locked up and all that, but you can't because somebody is going to always you know do something anyway," said Holloway. 

Channel 3 archives show in 2016, Holder pleaded guilty in Hamilton County court for providing an illegal gun to a juvenile, who shot himself in the face while taking a picture.

The Chattanooga Police Department has set up a newly formed Homicide Tip Line. Callers can remain anonymous and all tips go directly to the investigators. 423-643-5100.


PREVIOUS STORY: A double homicide investigation is underway by the Chattanooga Police Department. Police say two bodies were found near the edge of Highland Memorial Gardens Cemetery off of Shepherd Road, Tuesday morning. 

 A former Chattanooga city councilman is the one who made the discovery. Manny Rico, tells Channel 3 he was there checking on a headstone, when he noticed the bodies of two men and called for help. The former city councilman owns a headstone business.

"When I honked and they didn't even flinch, I knew there was something wrong so I went and got the caretaker," said Manny Rico, Rico Monuments. 

Rico says he at first thought the two people were sleeping, he got the groundskeeper to investigate. 

"He went up there and said they're not asleep, they're dead," said Rico. 

The cemetery quickly turned into a crime scene with blue lights and yellow police tape blocking off all entrances. 

"At this time there is no danger to the immediate community," said spokesman Rob Simmons, Chattanooga Police Dept. "The bodies have been there for long enough that the suspect is not in the area." 

Rico tells Channel 3 that the two bodies were side by side, just a few feet apart, very close to the wood line. It's still not clear how the two men died.

"Ugh his pants were down around his knees," said Rico. "It's pretty cold to just leave them out there in the open..... It's a shame that you know 2 families or 1 family is having to deal with that kind of bereavement now, especially just laying out there like garbage out in the open." 

More than a dozen squad cars responded to the scene. While the community waits for answers, police have called in federal assistance.

"It is an active crime scene, the whole cemetery so as you can tell there's a lot of land to cover to gather evidence," said Simmons. " We're doing everything we can to make sure our community remains safe." 

Police not yet released the identity of the two victims found, their investigation is ongoing. Police say the victims injuries appear to be consistent with that of gunshot wounds. 

Both victims are males and appear to be adult age or near adult age. 

The Chattanooga Police Department has set up a newly formed Homicide Tip Line. Callers can remain anonymous and all tips go directly to the investigators. 423-643-5100.


PREVIOUS STORY: A double death investigation is underway by the Chattanooga Police Department Tuesday morning. Police are considering it a double homicide as they work to gather evidence.

The bodies are adult-aged, police said in a news conference. The Chattanooga Police Academy cadets will be deployed to cover the large area of the search in a sweep for possible evidence. The investigation is expected to last most of the day.

The two bodies were discovered in Highland Memorial Gardens off Shepherd Road.

Police say there's no danger to the public.

Spokesman Rob Simmons says more information will be released at Metro Tabernacle Church, where police and media are staging.

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