Reactions to Recent Gang Attributed Shootings
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — The recent rash of gun violence in Chattanooga, have the signs of retaliatory gang shootings.
That’s according to experts.
To most Chattanoogans, It seems that there have been shooting incidents almost every other day the past few weeks, although Mayor Andy Berke, says the numbers are still down from past years.
“Our gang gun violence is significantly down. A few years ago we were at roughly seventy incidents a year, last year we were at 27, but we’ve had a bunch of different things that happened, and also when it spikes up, and you see this retaliation, – you shot at me so I have to shoot at you – which is what we’ve had over the last several weeks, that is really tough on our entire city,” said Mayor Andy Berke.
People enjoying Coolidge park today, were concerned, and unsure of what can be done to curtail the problem.
“It makes be feel bad that my daughter feels like she’s unsafe even at the movies here. We’ve got to stop putting guns in peoples’ hands. Something’s got to be done,” said Deborah Adkins.
“I don’t think it’s just the police’s responsibility to – keep us safe, I think it’s – the community has to come together as a group, as a whole and see if it can be addressed,” said Beth Newsome.
“I think some of it may be gang related, some of it may be domestic abuse, and we don’t seem to – I don’t think we really have a good feel for how to deal with that,” said Tom Roark.
Dr. Bernie Miller, pastor of New Covenant Fellowship Church, thinks there’s a common root cause for violence.
“No one wants to sit down so that both parties can walk away feeling like winners. One party wants to destroy the other one, and it’s largely because they just don’t have any regard for life, human life at all,” said Dr. Miller.
Dr. Miller also thinks that city planners bear some of the responsibility.
“It’s kind of hard to avoid gangs, when you close down a housing development, and you displace these people,” said Dr. Miller.
So far this year in Chattanooga there have been 74 shooting victims and 14 shooting deaths.