UPDATE: Defense says evidence points to second shooter in Cowart - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Defense says evidence points to second shooter in Cowart Street shooting

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Tuesday's preliminary hearing revealed police still don't have the gun used to kill Sherone Porter and injure his brother Torrie Porter outside Coyote Jack's nightclub in December. 

Roddarius Martin, 24, is behind bars charged in the case. 

Testimony from a witness also revealed that the shooting may have been fueled over a love triangle. 

Prosecutors asked Channel 3 not to identify them for safety reasons. 

"They just continued arguing with the people. Torrie was arguing. Sherone was just standing behind him. But he just continued arguing," the witness testified. 

Prosecutors believe Martin shot several times in the air before opening fire at the brothers. 

But Martin's attorney, Bill Speek, said two types of shell casings found on the scene point to a different scenerio. 

"We've got information that there were other people out there with guns. We did not know until the officer said today that there were two types of ammunition although we had people tell us there were two 9 mm's out there," Speek added. 

Prosecutor Kevin Brown pointed to another reason different shell casings were found on the scene. 

"Is it uncommon for multiple different manufacturers of ammunition to be in one firearm?" Brown asked. 

"No," CPD Investigator Zack Crawford answered on the stand. 

The judge found enough evidence for probable cause and sent the case to the grand jury.

Now it will be up to a grand jury to decide if there's enough evidence to go to trial. 

Martin remains behind bars on an $850,000 bond. 


The suspect in the Cowart Street homicide is in court Tuesday.  Roddarius Martin was charged in homicide and attempted murder outside Coyote Jacks in December.

Channel 3 has a team in the courtroom for Martin's preliminary hearing.

Here is the latest on the proceedings:

Martin’s Attorney argues even though he was on probation at the time of the shooting, he should get bond.

Investigator says they searched Martin’s car and didn’t find 9 mm ammunition.

Video from inside Coyote Jacks shows Torrie Porter upset, according to the investigator.

Investigator says they recovered 8 shell casings outside Coyote Jacks. A group of 5 and a group of 3 in two areas. The investigator testifies of the 8 shell casings recovered, they are two types of ammunition.

Witness testifies they didn’t see who shot Sherone Porter and didn’t hear the shots.

They added that Martin and Sharone Porter hadn’t had any issues that night.

The witness says she knows Martin from high school.

According to witness testimony, about 10 shots were fired total.

Witness says “I dropped Torrie and ran to Sharone, he was shot in the chest.”

Witness testifies more arguing happening and then saw Martin shoot at the Porter brothers.

They say they saw Martin coming out of a bathroom inside the nightclub, and they saw Sharone Porter talking to Martin.

The prosecutor has asked we not identify the witness testifying.

The first witness says they were at Coyote Jacks the night of the shooting of Sharone and Torrie Porter.


PREVIOUS STORY: The Chattanooga Police Department has charged Roddarius L. Martin, 24, in the death of Sharone Porter, 22.

Martin was arrested Monday and faces charges of criminal homicide, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault and felony reckless endangerment.

At 2:47 am Sunday, police responded to the 1400 block of Cowart Street where two men had been shot.

READ MORE | Weekend shooting leads to a lock down at a downtown bar

Both men were transported to a local hospital. Sharone Porter died at the hospital. His brother, Torrie Porter, 24, sustained injuries that were described as non-life-threatening.

Chattanooga Police Department spokesman Sgt. Victor Miller said that the incident began inside the Coyote Jack's nightclub and then spilled outside to a nearby parking lot where the shooting took place early Sunday morning.

Witnesses told police that once outside, Martin fired several shots in the air causing the crowd outside Coyote Jack's to disperse.

Martin then fired shots at the Porter brothers. 

One witness told police that Torrie Porter ran from the gunfire, but Sharone Porter attempted to stop Martin from shooting.

A second witness said Martin fired two shots during the altercation with Sharone Porter that ended with Sharone Porter on the ground and Martin fleeing the scene.

Police say security video from the scene agrees with the witness's chain of events.

This is the third time a shooting has happened near Coyote Jack's in the last two years. The club's Marketing Director, Daniel Weaver, says his staff didn't notice anything wrong until it was too late. 

"We knew nothing. In our aspect it was a perfect night," Weaver said.

Weaver says he never saw the Porter brothers or Martin inside the club. He says he has not seen surveillance video showing the men inside. 

"When we looked back at the cameras we didn’t see anybody being aggressive towards each other. It didn’t seem like there was an altercation of any sort that’s why it was such a surprise to us," Weaver said.

But Weaver says he's confident Martin was not armed inside the club. 

"You go through a very extensive search when you go to the door. You get patted down here outside and for women, it’s inside, and then of course if you have any bags or anything extra on you it's searched when it comes inside." 

In November, police found Martin's Taurus 9mm pistol in his car during a traffic stop. The pistol was returned to Martin. Police say the shell casings found at Sunday's crime scene that matched the pistol Martin had from the November traffic stop.

This is not Martin's first arrest. He was arrested earlier this year in May for theft of property and possession of a firearm with intent to go armed.

Weaver says the club's security staff does their job efficiently, but they are looking at making some changes. He says they hope to add a police presence to the nearby parking lot to help stop the violence.

"From this, we've learned and we are going to be aggressive going forward.we're going to make this neighborhood safe," Weaver said.

On Sunday, Tammie Taylor, owner of Coyote Jacks on Cowart Street, told Channel 3:

"I would like to clear up false rumors circulating regarding a shooting last night. There was no shooting at Coyote Jacks. There was no shooting in the area while we were open for business. The shooting downtown last night did not occur on club property. The shooter was never in our club and was not a customer of our club. Even though our establishment was not involved, our heartfelt condolences go out to the family."

Monday, Coyote Jack's Saloon Marketing Director Daniel Weaver released the following statement:

"First, on behalf of the owners, management and staff of Coyote Jack’s/The Livingroom, we would like to send our heartfelt condolences out to the victim’s family of the horrible incident that took place early Sunday morning. We are heartbroken and devastated over the loss of one gentlemen and the injury of the other who meant a lot to a number of people. We are working with the police department to help bring the individuals that committed this horrible event to swift justice. Each life is precious and to lose a life in any capacity should never be taken lightly or for granted.  
 
Our preliminary statement was based upon information provided to the owner, Tammie Taylor, by witnesses and employees. It was told that neither the victims nor the shooter were on club property at the time of the incident or before. Later, it was reported that the victims were guests at the club and discovered through statements made to the police department that a “verbal altercation” took place inside the club and the ending result was the two gentlemen being shot in the parking lot across the street. Our preliminary statement was not meant to be misleading nor a false statement. It was merely a response to the information provided at the time and was needed for commentary by the media.  
 
Coyote Jack’s/The Livingroom has a very strict dress code policy and we abide by it 100%. Every guest is subject to a “pat down”, and all bags are searched upon entry. There are no exceptions to the rule and no one is exempt from this procedure. The security staff is trained in proper procedures in handling incidents that happen within the confines of the property. Our policy is to address the incident immediately, remove the parties involved and 
deescalate the incident outside of the building.  On the night that this horrible incident took place, we had no issues whatsoever. There were no fights, no removals, no disagreements, etc.. This particular “verbal altercation” that took place came as a surprise as our security staff and management, including myself, were all patrolling the building, and nothing stood out. You might say it was a perfect night of fun and entertainment up until the point that this incident happened. The downstairs bar did “lights up” at 2:40 am, and the upstairs bar did lights at the same time. All guests were asked to leave and everyone was out of the building by 2:55 am. We were instructed to hold the crowd due to the incident that happened in the parking lot but everyone was out by the time stated.  

At the point of guests leaving the building, along with myself, three members of security, and other staff were at the exit doors wishing everyone a good night and a safe drive. That is a tradition that we do each weekend. We do our best to ensure that no one is driving under the influence and has a reliable ride home.  
 
Moving forward, we are continuing operation as normal and we are taking aggressive steps to tighten up security, as well as looking into commissioning duty officers. We are also going to again reach out to Republic Parking about having an officer(s) present in the parking lot across the street from the club.  
 
On a final note, we ask that you please send your thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Sharone Porter, as this is a very difficult time for them. We would also like to wish a swift and thorough recovery for Torie Porter."

Police do not believe that this shooting was gang-related. Martin's bond is set at $1,010,000.

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