Gang members involved in previous mall shoot out arrested at Hamilton Place Mall with loaded gun
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – An arrest report from the Chattanooga Police Department says three people were arrested Saturday at the Hamilton Place Mall.
They were Marquis Pitmon and two juveniles. The suspects were recognized by police officers and placed under arrest for outstanding warrants.
Police found a stolen loaded 40 caliber Glock on one juvenile. Pitmon was found carrying 2 grams of crack cocaine. And all three suspects arrived at the mall in a stolen Honda which reports say had a large amount of marijuana inside and an AR-15.
The juvenile with the Glock was recognized by officers as a having been involved in a previous gang-related shooting in the mall. With extensive police records on all three individuals, the question remains how they are free to commit more crimes.
Amanda Morrison, Hamilton County Assistant District Attorney, “Juvenile court is meant to be a court of rehabilitation but there are specific laws that do allow juveniles if they’ve committed certain offenses that they can be tried as an adult. And that is a very statute driven procedure.”
And while officials scramble for answers to the ever-increasing violence – answers like more outreach programs to the underserved, more after school activities – some officials say it’s the very laws that need to be changed.
Coty Wamp, Candidate for Hamilton County Attorney General, “Because our juvenile criminal justice statutes are so lenient in the state of Tennessee, it might be that the legislative delegation in Hamilton County at some point has to join around a table and say, what do we want to lobby for given that this community in Hamilton County is seeing such a rise in criminal juvenile offenses.”
The report says all three suspects are validated gang members. CBL Properties who owns the mall have released a statement. Pitmon was booked at the Hamilton County Jail and the two juveniles were sent to the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center.
Edited: Story was updated to include more details on the arrests. The story was corrected to state only two of the suspects are juveniles and includes the name of the adult suspect. The story was corrected to replace the juvenile’s involvement in the August 12th mall shooting to his involvement in a previous gang-related mall shooting.