Interim Police Chief and Local Reaction On Weekend Of Gun Violence

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – “They’re all in gangs. They’re violent. They’re young. They don’t have no guidance, no parents,” says Irma Mendoza in response to the nine shootings with three fatalities in Chattanooga this weekend.
“Nobody cares about them so they get killed and it’s just like…nothing,” says Mendoza.
One of the weekend shootings was outside of 1124 Grove Street.
Seven women gunned down, two died, and police say there are still no suspects.
“We are here because we love Chattanooga and everything,” says Chelsea Clark of north Georgia. “It makes me a little anxious to be here now, especially with the victims being women.”
Another shooting took place on Old Mission Road and the third was on Campbell Street, where the victim died.
Events like IRONMAN just brought thousands to the Scenic City from across the country.
But the community is on edge with when, and how, the violence will end.
“We need the area patrolled more,” says Dejuan Lykes of Chattanooga. “Make sure every neighborhood in the city is okay because we have innocent people just getting killed.”
“It’s gotten really bad and we need to come together. It’s taking innocent lives and babies are involved as well,” says Justin Wooten of Chattanooga.
As in other recent shootings, officials will not say if these shootings are gang related.
But yet they tell the community after nine shootings in one day the situation isn’t rampant.
“We do not feel like this is anything that’s going to be rampant throughout the city but we are certainly looking at all aspects of what happened on Saturday,” says Chattanooga Interim Police Chief Eric Tucker.
Mayor Kelly’s office will be hosting community engagement meetings to address concerns.
They ask the public to email them at policy@chattanooga.gov with any suggestions on curbing gun violence.
“We can’t ask our police officers to shoulder the burden for our society that has allowed certain communities to exist in generational poverty,” says Hamilton County Commissioner District 6 David Sharpe. “This is a long term issue that is going to take a long term solution.”

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