Police identify suspect in Hamilton Place Mall fight
CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Chattanooga Police have taken out warrants on a suspect from this weekend’s disturbance at Hamilton Place Mall.
18 year old David Ballard is wanted on charges of aggravated riot, felony reckless endangerment, possession of an altered weapon, and unlawful possession of a firearm.
Chief David Roddy says investigators identified him as the man brandishing a gun during the fight inside the mall.
He credits the high quality of security video by the mall for allowing them to make the identification.
“I give thanks to Hamilton Place Mall for being technologically progressive in the system that they had installed recently.”
One person was injured during the chaos on Saturday night.
A juvenile female was knocked down and had to be taken to the hospital.
But despite witness reports of gunfire, police have found no evidence that shots were actually fired inside.
They have swept the mall twice and found no bullet holes, no shell casings and no video evidence that shots were fired INSIDE.
They did, however, find one shell casing outside the mall, but testing shows it did not come from the gun also found outside.
Chief Roddy says about the witness accounts, “I don’t want to suppose what someone heard. Fear is a very powerful emotion. We’ve heard a lot of theories from tables being knocked over to gates being slammed. But I don’t want to minimize anyone’s fear by saying I know what was in their head or I know why they felt they heard or reacted in a certain way.”
Now police are searching for David Ballard.
If you have any information on him, please contact police at 423-643-5100.
The Chief did not announce any additional security for the mall, but he says they will patrol it as long as there is fear in the community.
Also his department will continue to work with Mall operators, CBL, to discuss security issues.