Puckett's Restaurant employees, customers react to shooting outside Riverbend Festival
Just outside of Riverbend Saturday night, Chattanooga Police officials responded to a call of shots fired.
When they arrived, they found two 13-year-old victims, and arrested a 14-year-old suspect.
Among the chaos, customers at Puckett's Restaurant ended up trapped inside, with the parking lot blocked off as part of the crime scene. Customer Kelly Self says she was inside getting something to eat before heading to Riverbend.
"Cops were everywhere, cops started running, we saw one cop who had his gun pulled out," Self said. "So we knew something serious was going on. Everything just sort of went on lockdown and we went to the kitchen."
Puckett's manager David McLain says he was at Riverbend when he heard about the shooting. He headed straight to the restaurant to help his team.
"They were obviously taken back," McLain said. "Any tragedy where any one is hurt or injured is not a good thing on there. They were just worried about the town and worried about the people that were involved.”
Because so many people were unable to leave, McLain and his team started calling local hotels and ride-share services to help get people somewhere safe to stay.
"We tried to soften the blow of a bad situation however we could, whether we're directly involved with it or not," McLain said.
Self ended up taking one of those hotel rooms, and heading there for the night. To her, the situation left a lasting impression.
"I just hate that our world has come to this," she said. "Sadly this is the new reality. I think, just everybody stay safe and be smart.”
McLain added that the CPD did a great job working with Puckett's staff to keep people informed and safe.
The 14-year-old suspect is charged with two counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm in commission of a felony. CPD says the investigation is ongoing.
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