UPDATE: Police say rival gangs spurred Christmas eve shooting
UPDATED SUN. DEC. 25, 6:00 PM
CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)- Chattanooga police say two rival gangs spurred a downtown shooting incident late Saturday night that injured nine people. According to CPD Sgt. Jerri Weary, nine people were shot were shot at Club Fathom in the 400 block of Cherry Street. Five were juveniles and four were adults. Three of the victims (one adult and two juveniles) were admitted to a local hospital, with what are believed to be non life-threatening injuries.
Officers say about 400 teenagers were leaving a party at the club when two rival gangs met up and started shooting. One of the gang members began firing a gun, shooting indiscriminately into the crowd. A second suspect from the opposing gang began firing back. In the process, nine people were hit. One suspect began pointing a gun at Officer Jacques Weary. Officer Weary fired four times at the suspect, who was able to escape. Police have not identified the suspect, and have not determined if he was hit. Officer Weary wasn't injured in the incident, but has been placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in officer-involved shooting incidents.
Investigators from various CPD divisions are interviewing witnesses. Later there was a call from 2505 Oak Street, where residents said suspects from the Cherry Street incident were outside, threateing to "shoot up the house." When police arrived, there were no suspects present and no evidence of any damage. No charges have been filed.
PREVIOUS STORY FROM SUNDAY MORNING, DEC. 25:
(WRCB) – Multiple people have been shot at several different locations in Downtown Chattanooga.
A total nine people, including five juveniles, have been shot. One of those victims, a 17-year-old male, was shot in the pelvis and is in critical condition. He was rushed into surgery at Erlanger.
Police say the first call came in just before midnight on Sunday of shots fired in the 400 block of Cherry Street.
"I wondered what happened because they had about 4 or 5 blocks blocked off," says Theo McClendon, who was Downtown watching the chaos.
According to police, the shootings started following a fight at a teen party at Club Fathom at 412 Cherry Street.
Police say an off-duty officer, who was working security at the club, was attempting to control the crowd at the scene when a suspect opened fire. Gunfire was exchanged between the officer and the suspect. The officer was not wounded. It is unclear at this time if the officer struck anyone.
"Where I was at they said it was a 16-year-old got shot," McClendon says. "I don't know if it's true, could be. But they said some 16-year-old."
A second call of shots fired was reported at 800 Market Street. Police say no one was injured in that shooting, but several people have been detained for questioning.
A third shooting occurred at 1202 Poplar, where one person was shot. Police say they are unsure if this shooting is connected with the other two at this time.
Police say they have reports of shootings at two other locations, but did give specific locations. There have not been any reports of injuries at either of those locations.
"It's making it look bad on Chattanooga, making it seem like we're a very bad city to live in," McClendon says.
Multiple streets have been shut down in Downtown Chattanooga as police begin their investigation, which is expected to last for several hours.
A mobile command center has been set up on 4th Street at Walnut. Chief Bobby Dodd is coordinating the investigation from there.
"Due to the number of victims and potential number of suspects, details from both incidents are still inconclusive," said police spokesperson Sergeant Jerri Weary.