Eyewitness and CPD SWAT Commander Speak on Hamilton Place Shooting

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – “And it was bang bang bang bang bang and we ran in the back as fast as we could,” says an eye witness to Thursday’s shooting, Jessica Griffin.
Jessica was working her normal shift at the Great American Cookie Thursday night at Hamilton Place when police say two groups of people began shooting at each other.
“It was two people that were running in front of our store that were mindlessly shooting at each other,” Jessica says.
She says she has bills to pay so couldn’t take the day off work despite what she witnessed.
“I’m here just trying to sell cookies and all of the sudden there’s 20 gun shots going off inside our store.”
Jessica says when things calmed down, she had to coax a colleague out of the back room who was terrified to leave.
Dozens of police, EMS and fire fighters responded to the 911 calls that came in.
Witnesses say they responded within minutes.
“We had people that were in clothes racks. How many times have you been to a mall? How many clothes racks do you have in there? People were terrified. There was gun fire in the mall. They were scared. I think they did a great job. They sheltered in place. We’d enter these stores and couldn’t see or hear anything. They remained quiet so we went through and let people know police were there,” says Sergeant Rusty Morrison, a SWAT Commander with the Chattanooga Police Department.
Police officers determined it wasn’t an active shooter situation.
The mall opened back up Friday morning while police are still trying to find the suspects.
“I’m here to atleast make sure people get their cakes but we aren’t selling cookies today. It’s just too much to deal with,” says Jessica.
Chattanooga Police are urging anyone with information on the suspects to call 423-643-5100

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