Investigators brush a van for fingerprints at a home next door to where a man was fatally shot Tuesday. Police secured the scene of a shooting homicide in the 2300 block of East 14th Street on Tuesday. The victim was shot and later died while at Erlanger. Staff Photo by Jake Daniels/Chattanooga Times Free Press
Andrea Battle struggled to breath as she stood several feet away from yellow crime scene tape.
“He’s dead. He’s dead,” she said, repeating the words over and over.
Tears rolled down Battle’s face as women began to embrace her. She laid her head full of braids on several shoulders beginning to sob.
Her boyfriend, 50-year-old Robert Moore, was shot in the abdomen Tuesday afternoon while he was outside his home at 2302 E. 14th St.
Battle and Moore’s sister, Laverne Moore, received a phone call where they work at a local cleaning service. They left to run to a local hospital where Robert Moore died shortly after.
Laverne Moore went to visit her brother, but within an hour, she was signing his death certificate, she said. His cold body was transported to the Hamilton County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Now Laverne Moore sat on the other side of the blocked street, watching police dust fingerprints on nearby cars and place evidence markers near shotgun casings lying on the edge of the roadway near her home.
She smoked Kool cigarettes in a folding chair with people approaching from a small neighborhood crowd to pay their respects.
“It don’t make no sense,” she said.
Loved ones said Moore was looking for work after finishing a prison term about a year and half ago.
Robert Moore began dating Battle shortly after, Battle said.
Family members said Moore was in the front yard with a neighbor when he was shot.
Witnesses told police that two men, one wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, pulled up to the residence in a maroon Lincoln Town Car and began shooting down the street. At least five rounds were fired.
Moore was struck at about 1:24 p.m. and taken to Erlanger hospital where he died from his injuries.
“The victim is believed not to be the intended target of the shooting,” said Chattanooga police Sgt. Jerri Weary at the scene.
Moore’s death was just one of several violent incidents that police responded to Tuesday.
Just an hour before the shooting, a fight took place nearby, Weary said.
“Possibly whoever was involved in the fight was involved in the shooting, but it’s too early to say,” she said.
Authorities could not confirm whether the incident was gang-related.
At 3:30 p.m. authorities found a suspect vehicle at 400 Tunnel Blvd. that had been reported stolen. Police are investigating to see if the occupants have any involvement in the shootings.
Near the crime scene tape, ribbons adorned a near by tree that marked the loss of another member of the Moore family.
Shortly before Moore’s release from prison, his brother, 46-year-old Sylvester Kitchens Jr., died after he accepted a bet for $5 that resulted in him getting swept away in floodwaters in September 2009.
Laverne Moore said she is now the last of the four siblings in her family.
Other shootings police responded to Tuesday included:
n Two men told police a man known as “Twan” confronted them and tried to pick a fight with them. Shortly after an argument, two gunmen in a blue Chevy Impala returned to the residence at 1400 Ivy St. and fired several shots at 11:09 a.m. No one was injured. Two vehicles were struck by the rounds.
n Shortly after 3 p.m. police responded to a local hospital where a man with a gunshot wound to the hand said a dark sedan pulled up to a residence at 30 Tunnel Blvd. and a gunman began firing.