Grove Street gang retaliation shooting update
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga Police have confirmed Saturday night’s shooting was gang-related and the women who were struck were not the targets, they were just in the crossfire.
“You can pass your laws. You can write your bills or whatever you want to do but the change has got to come from within the community,” says Grove Street resident Kenneth Johnson
Seven women were shot, and two killed, just outside Johnson’s front door.
He – and others – think it’s time for creative solutions to the growing violence.
“We’ve tried things like buying guns back. We’ve tried things like community policing and not that it’s not effective – community policing – but it can’t obviously be the only thing,” says Hamilton County Mayor Jim Coppinger.
Chattanooga Police say they have very little leads to a double murder that dozens of people witnessed.
Residents say the killers don’t live in their neighborhood, a street they say is usually quiet. They point to parenting and lack of discipline has reasons for the uptick in violence.
“My mother, okay, when I grew up, if you disrespected her or her friends, you got your head slapped,” says Johnson. “Not only by her but by her friends or neighbors that knew you, okay? Today, there’s no such thing.”
“We choose to deal with conflict a lot differently now in 2021 than we did 40 or 50 years ago,” says Mayor Coppinger. “People are carrying guns and quick to use guns when it used to be a good old fashioned fist fight and it was over.” As the local leaders and pastors prepare to meet with the public on October 5 to discuss how to move forward, the solutions they hear may be difficult to implement. “You got kids raising kids and that’s basically what I feel is the problem around here,” says Johnson. Residents have shared their hopelessness this week following the shootings that have been all too common.
“Unless we make changes, it’s not going to help anything.”
The public is invited to speak with officials and pastors on October 5 at 2 p.m. at the Kingdom Center at Mount Olivet Church on East MLK Ave. to address the gun violence.