Neighbors Say Shooting Victim Was Targeted

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 10/23/2012 6:31 am
A piece of blood stained pavement on East 13th Street has Tonetta Stewart doing more than shaking her head.

Stewart adds, "It's messed up, It's just really messed up."

Stewart says she heard six shots ring out Sunday night while making dinner.

She adds, "It sounded like they were shooting at my house. I was like damn, is somebody shooting at my window."

Police are not releasing the man's name, but say he is in critical condition.

Stewart says, "They hang out there and drink everyday. They don't mess with anybody when they walk by. They don't mess with me when I walk by."

That is one reason some neighbors believe the motive was robbery, but police say it is too early to tell if that is the case.

Now, Students who live nearby have their own ideas about what happened.

They tell us the victim could have been targeted just because he was hispanic.

Stephenson Smith says, "I think it's sad. Latinos are human just like us and people just target them because they don't belong here, but they're humans just like us. People don't like them because some are illegal and some are just plain racist."

Our records show this is the second hispanic man shot in chattanooga in about one months time.

August Schaetz, a neighbor, says, "I know that I worked at a retail store in high school and I realized that a lot of hispanic people would come in and open their wallets and it seemed like they carry cash on them than most normal people would, so may not have back accounts, so that's a reason I think they may be targeted."

But targeted or not, this is a community now on high alert.

It was reported to police that a man was running away from the scene, but no one is in custody yet.

If you have any information, call Chattanooga Police.
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