The city’s number of homicides from January to July — 19 — equal the total number of homicides in all of 2013..
Battery Heights is a quiet 144-unit apartment complex with just as many elderly residents as young people, said 25-year-old Reemo Johnson, while sitting on steps outside his apartment there.
But that quiet was shattered early Sunday morning.
Johnson said he had just come home from a club when he heard six gunshots near his window. He watched as fire, police and ambulance vehicles roared onto the scene and a woman was put in the ambulance.
“It was fist fighting when I came up,” said Bobby Goines, another resident of Battery Heights, where police responded at 5:15 a.m. and found a woman with an apparent gunshot wound to her hip. “But guys can’t take a whipping. Now they come and kill you.”
Just under 3 miles away on Rawlings Street, however, shootings occur so often that neighbors unrelated to a child may snatch children into their homes to protect them, said one resident, who didn’t want to give his name.
He was one of the people talking among themselves on porches and in the streets. And one of the people — in three separate incidents — who awoke to gunfire before sunrise Sunday morning in the span of less than an hour.
At 5 a.m. Sunday a black male arrived at a local hospital with a gunshot wound to his foot. He was shot at 2000 Rawlings St. And at 8108 Graham Road a black male was shot in his leg and transported by EMS to a local hospital at 4:30 a.m.
“Black-on-black crime,” said Goines. “We are our worst enemy.”
The early morning gunfire brings the city’s total to more than 50 shootings this year.
There have been 19 homicides from January to July, equal to the total number of homicides in all of 2013.
Injuries in all three of yesterday’s shootings are believed to be non life-threatening, according to Chattanooga Police Department news releases. None of the victims’ names were released at press time.
Chattanooga Police Department Public Information Officer Tim McFarland said there is no reason to believe the three shootings are related.
Goines said jobs will help people avoid the crime.
“Give a person a job and he’ll look forward to something,” he said.
Contact staff writer Yolanda Putman at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6431.
Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...