published Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Chattanooga police kill man during home invasion

Chattanooga police investigate the scene at 1332 Florida St. in Brainerd on Tuesday where a man was shot and killed by police officers responding to an early-morning home invasion report.
Chattanooga police investigate the scene at 1332 Florida St. in Brainerd on Tuesday where a man was shot and killed by police officers responding to an early-morning home invasion report.
Photo by John Rawlston.
1332 Florida Street
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Adam Post noticed that something was happening in the house across the street from his Brainerd home, but he didn't pay it much mind.

"You could see the guys rolling around inside, but knowing them and how late they stay up and how hard they party, you just figure they're horsing around causing noise like they normally do," he said. "I closed my door and started getting ready for bed. It was probably 30 minutes after that, I heard, 'Pop! Pop! Pop!' I open the door again and, of course, there were police officers out front."

Those officers were called after another neighbor, smoking a cigarette outside around midnight Tuesday, watched as two men kick down the door of the residence and enter the home. She called 911.

By the time everything was done, 31-year-old Ronald Lovell Wright had been shot to death by Chattanooga police and 19-year-old Kevin Williams had been arrested and charged with three counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of attempted aggravated robbery in connection to a home invasion.

Police believe the robbery was drug-related after finding drugs, cash and firearms in the home at 1332 Florida St. For most of the day Tuesday, crime scene tape roped off Hunt Drive leading to Florida Street.

Residents said the owner of the residence, Logan Naff, recently was released from jail. Records show he served a monthlong sentence on a public intoxication charge.

Among the people inside the residence at the time of the incident were Naff, 24-year-old Adam Vogelmeier, 19-year-old Taylor Worley, 18-year-old Austin Schumucker and 19-year-old Michael Keesler.

Post said the shooting does not surprise him.

"As a matter of fact, after that first boom, I looked at my girlfriend, and said, 'You know one of these days, they're going to get somebody killed.' Sure enough, within 30 to 40 minutes someone was killed," Post said.

While residents were surprised at the break-in, they didn't seem to feel less safe in their homes.

"This don't happen out here. This is something that doesn't happen out here," said a woman in her 30s, who declined to give her name, saying she feared retaliation. She has lived in the neighborhood since 1998.

Police, who were responding to an alarm call at Sweet Basil Thai Cuisine on Brainerd Road when the home invasion call went out at 12:12 a.m., arrived within minutes. The officers surrounded the house and ordered everyone to come out, said Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd.

Wright exited through a rear window, armed with rifle or shotgun, and made it half way across the tall grass in the backyard before he pointed the gun at one of the officers, Dodd said. Wright was shot to death by Sgt. David Allen and three patrol officers, Justin Mitchell, Bryan Moody and Jeremiah Cook, he said.

"I heard on the [loudspeaker]. 'Come out the front door with your hands up,' three times and then I heard, 'Get on the ground. Get on the ground. Get on the ground,'" said the female neighbor. "And I guess the person didn't get on the ground. Next thing I know, 'Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!'"

Wright died at the scene.

"He had every opportunity to give up in the house like his cohort did," Dodd said.

Wright had four counts of aggravated assault and one count of reckless endangerment pending in Hamilton County Criminal Court stemming from a 2011 case, according to records.

Williams, who remained inside the residence with the other occupants, now faces charges of three counts of aggravated robbery, two counts of attempted aggravated robbery in connection to the home invasion.

The police sergeant and patrol officers, who all work in Delta team, remain on paid administrative leave while the shooting is investigated and authorities review their actions to determine if they acted accordingly. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, which routinely investigates officer involved shootings, also responded to the scene to investigate.

Some of the occupants inside the home also had records. Both Vogelmeier and Naff were convicted of aggravated burglary to an occupied habitation in 2007 where they both received three-year prison sentences, according to court records.

Investigators are in the process of obtaining warrants on Vogelmeier for the following charges: felon in possession of a controlled substance for resale, felon in possession of marijuana for resale, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia. More charges are pending through the U.S. attorney's office with the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Worley has pending charges of aggravated burglary and theft of property in Hamilton County Criminal Court, according to records.

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