UPDATE: Hixson High School community remembers 15-year-old killed in horrific shooting
UPDATE: Crime scene tape surrounded the home on Cotter Road in Hixson Monday where investigators say Michael McElrath killed his 15-year-old son over the weekend.
Detectives could be seen going in and out of the home as neighbors tried to continue their routines, some too emotional to go on camera saying they’re in shock by what happened.
“This is one of our kids that will be tremendously missed," Director of School Counseling for Hamilton County Schools Patricia Russell said.
District leaders confirm Dylan McElrath, 15, had just started his sophomore year at Hixson High School and was known for being a genuine friend.
"But just when you would see him, he was easy going, he's smiling often; he's well mannered, and he's an honor student," Russell said.
Russell said extra counselors will be on hand at Hixson High for as long as they’re needed for students and faculty.
They also put up banners in the hallway for people to write messages and share memories of Dylan.
“It's not just a job for teachers. It's not just a job for parents. It's a time for us to come together to support the whole child to make sure that they do understand some of the questions that they have," Russell said.
And while we may not know why Dylan’s life was cut short, Russell said it’s important to remember the 15-year-old for who he was and to come together during this time of grief.
"They're all our kids. Every staff member, we're all one big happy family. When one of us hurts, all of us hurt," Russell said.
McElrath sits in a Hamilton County jail cell on a $1 million bond. He is due in court on Friday.
Stay with Ch. 3 for updates on this story.
PREVIOUS STORY: Michael David McElrath is a former Hamilton County Sheriff's Office employee.
McElrath served as a Corrections Officer from December of 1996 – August of 1999. Records further show he resigned in 1999 to pursue other opportunities, according to HCSO spokesman Matt Lea.
He also worked as a police officer at the Chattanooga Airport for three years in the early 2000s.
"Mr. McElrath was employed as a police officer for approximately three years but left the Chattanooga Airport in 2002," an airport spokesperson told Channel 3. "We are unaware why he decided to pursue other interests."
PREVIOUS STORY: A man has been charged in Saturday night's murder on Cotter Road in Hixson.
Michael David McElrath was charged with criminal homicide for killing his 15-year-old son, according to an arrest report.
Just before 10:30 pm, someone called 911 about a naked man who told the person that "there's blood everywhere; call police; I've shot my son."
A family member called 911 and said McElrath had shot the teen.
When Hamilton County sheriff's deputies arrived at the home on Cotter Road, where the first call came from, they found McElrath naked on the porch. When he was ordered by a deputy to get on the ground, he said, "I did it. I did it. I'm so sorry. I shot my son. I don't know why," according to the report.
Deputies and paramedics found the teenager shot to death at McElrath's home.
Deputies also found a dead dog with a gunshot wound in the hallway of the home.
A family member told deputies that she woke up and heard the dog barking. The arrest report explained that McElrath walked in the room with a blood stain on his shirt and told her it was nothing, even though there were two guns in the room. He told her "it was a dream" and to "go back to bed."
The family member walked out and found the teenager in the hallway suffering from the gunshot wound, and McElrath left the home and went to the residence where he was arrested.
McElrath was taken into custody and booked into the Hamilton County Jail. His bond has been set at $1 million.
PREVIOUS STORY: Channel 3 has confirmed that Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies are on the scene of an investigation on Cotter Road in Hixson.
We have learned there has been a shooting Saturday night.
The sheriff's office says one person was found dead. One person is now in custody.
A Hamilton County spokesperson says information is limited since this is a developing investigation.
Right now the circumstances surrounding the incident have not been released.
Stay with Channel 3 as we work to learn more.