Cortez “AWAX” Sims now in custody

Chattanooga, Tennessee(WDEF) – The teenager accused of shooting four people including a one-year old infant is now in police custody.

Cortez Sims, 17, was captured Friday morning in Knoxville when multiple law enforcement agencies moved in on his location.

"While some of the Chattanooga police officers were en route to Knoxville, Sims walked out of a house in which the Knoxville police department and U.S. Marshals were conducting surveillance. Both agencies took Sims into custody without incident," said Chattanooga Police Chief Fred Fletcher.

Sims had been on the run since Wednesday morning when police say he shot four people inside an apartment at College Hill Courts.

A one-year old baby girl identified as Zoey Horton was one of his alleged victims. Police rushed the child to the emergency room at Erlanger where she immediately went into surgery.  The child is still fighting for her life.

The baby’s mother, identified as Bianca Horton, 24 suffered a non-life threatening injury.

Marcell Christopher, 18, suffered serious injuries and was last listed in critical condition.

Talitha Bowman, 20, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Horton and Christopher identified Sims as the shooter. It didn’t take long for police rely on  credible leads that ultimately tracked Sims to Knoxville.

"We had a great number internal and external resources working on it. Our intelligence unit; our suppression unit; patrol officers were working with people in the community who gave us information," Fletcher said.

The heat was turned up on Sims when he was placed on the TBI top 10 list just one day after he was named a suspect.

Before his capture, Sims was considered armed and dangerous. To police, he was already a known gang member with a criminal past.  Because of the threat Sims reportedly posed to the public, the juvenile justice system agreed to publicly release his juvenile record as well as his picture. Given the severity of the alleged crime in conjunction to his criminal past, Sims could be tried in court as an adult.

Sims has been charged with:

  • First degree murder
  • Three counts of aggravated assault
  • Reckless endangerment
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm
  • Unlawful possession of a firearm during the commission of a dangerous felon

As for the continued gang violence in Chattanooga, Chief Fletcher delivered a stern warning.

"The violence in this town must stop. If you choose to harm someone in our community, the Chattanooga police department in partnership with our community and all of our partners in law enforcement will come after you with everything we have; as long as it takes," Fletcher said.

Fletcher also delivered a stern message to other teenagers who are current gang members looking for a way out.

"If you want help, The CPD and our community has help for you. But if you insist on making choices that harm our community, we will bring all the pressure of law enforcement; from this agency; the state and the federal government to make sure you don’t harm anyone else," Fletcher said.

Categories: Crime, Local News

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