published Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Shooting injures 4 near Coolidge Park in Chattanooga

by Brittany Cofer
Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press 
Police investigate a shooting scene in Coolidge Park Saturday.
Staff Photo by Angela Lewis/Chattanooga Times Free Press Police investigate a shooting scene in Coolidge Park Saturday.

Chattanooga police said four people were shot Saturday night on River Street near Coolidge Park in what could be a gang-related incident.

"The officers say they were dressed in red and blue, which we all know what that usually represents," said Lt. Kim Noorbergen, spokeswoman for the Chattanooga Police Department. "But now we've not confirmed this is actually a gang fight, but we have had reports that there were red and blue involved."

Police said a possible fifth victim was taken to a hospital by a private vehicle.

About 9 p.m., police were called by Coolidge Park rangers for assistance clearing a crowd of "hundreds of young black males, black females, juveniles, young adults in the park getting rowdy," Lt. Noorbergen said. Rangers told police they were afraid the crowd was getting out of control, she said.

At least 26 units were called to the park, where police began moving the crowd toward Frazier Avenue, Lt. Noorbergen said. Officers said that's when shots rang out, hitting at least four people in the lower extremities.

All four were taken by ambulance to Erlanger hospital, and one more was reported to have been shot and taken to the hospital by a private vehicle, Lt. Noorbergen said.

Shortly after the shooting, police received a tip of a suspicious vehicle near Regions Bank on Frazier Avenue, she said. Officers stopped the car and handcuffed all five occupants upon finding a gun inside the vehicle, Lt. Noorbergen said.

"Now, whether it's related to this incident or not, we don't know just yet," she said.

So far there have been more than 20 shootings with injury in Chattanooga this year.

Saturday's shootings came a day after a shooting at 1953 Southern St. sent two people to the hospital.

Just before 7:30 p.m. Friday, Marquees McReynolds, 18, and a 15-year-old black male were shot at 1953 Southern St., Lt. Noorbergen said.

Mr. McReynolds, who had been shot once in the side, was taken to Erlanger hospital before police arrived, Lt. Noorbergen said. The 15-year-old victim was shot in the stomach and taken to the hospital after police arrived, she said.

Police are looking for a black male juvenile suspect, she said, and are still working on leads to determine the reason for the shooting. The two victims were listed in stable condition on Friday.

about Brittany Cofer...

Brittany Cofer is a business reporter who has been with the Chattanooga Times Free Press since January 2010. She previously worked as a general assignment Metro reporter. In the Business department, she covers banking, retail, tourism, consumer issues and green issues. Brittany is from Conyers, Ga., and spent two years at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Ga., before transferring to the University of Georgia. She graduated from the university’s Grady College of Journalism in December ...

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fftspam said...

what did the Coolidge Park cameras record?

Specifically the cameras mounted under the Walnut Street bridge that read license plates? What did they pick up?

I hate it when I have to do a news reporter's job.

March 28, 2010 at 1:23 a.m.
Tax_Payer said...

I'm moving out of Chattanooga as soon as possible! Wait and see what happens when the Germans at VW get fed up with this!

March 28, 2010 at 4:11 a.m.
bozooka said...

I live in a condo downtown and pay @ $8000 in city and county property taxes a year. Enough of this bulls--t. The thugs keep coming in and the police are worthless as far as I'm concerned. I am getting out of Chattanooga ASAFP!!

March 28, 2010 at 4:53 a.m.
bs_johnson said...

You know, I live just up the hill from Coolidge, and I don't plan on moving anytime soon. That's your reaction to a problem, to run away? I plan on being more involved, more pro-active, to stand up and say that I won't tolerate this in my neighborhood. I plan on working for solutions. And I don't think that carrying my shotgun to the park is really one of them. Rational response is what we're looking for here, people.

March 28, 2010 at 10:48 a.m.
InspectorBucket said...

I will gladly assist in the pursuit of rational conclusions.

Consider the following chronology. What rational conclusion should the Chattanooga City Counselors make?

Sunday, April 5, 2009 Police chief says crime fight is neighborhood responsibility

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2010 Crime down but more police needed, chief says

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 Police chief's contract delayed another week

March 28, 2010 at 11:16 a.m.
InspectorBucket said...

Note the chronology for this incident.

The incident occurred after 26 police force units had arrived at the Park and began pushing out the violent and unruly gathering.

March 28, 2010 at 11:28 a.m.
Tax_Payer said...

That's right InspectorBucket, there were cops all over the place before shots rang out hitting 4 possibly 5 people in the buttucks and leg areas.

Q. Who shoots low?

A. Thugs and gangsters.

March 28, 2010 at 11:56 a.m.
captainrt said...

Rational response is what we are looking for but you are not going to find it with these people. Work in a jail for a year or two and you will be banging your head into the wall. These people are a total negation of all things rational. I am optimistic that if we start with the very young ones, we might be able to slow the trend but until then, I am going armed and if they ever offer a Howitzer permit, I am going to get one. Call me optimistic with a big dash of common sense.

March 28, 2010 at 11:57 a.m.
Sailorman said...

This study was concerned with shootings of police officers. It should be obvious that it would apply to civilians as well. Informative, if scary, reading.

New Findings from the FBI about Cop Attackers & Their Weapons


have more experience using deadly force in “street combat” than their intended victims;

practice with firearms more often and shoot more accurately;

and then there is this one:

have no hesitation whatsoever about pulling the trigger. "If you hesitate," one told the study’s researchers, "you’re dead. You have the instinct or you don’t. If you don’t, you’re in trouble on the street..."

"Several of the offenders began regularly to carry weapons when they were 9 to 12 years old, although the average age was 17 when they first started packing "most of the time." Gang members especially started young. "

Predominately handguns were used in the assaults on officers and all but one were obtained illegally, usually in street transactions or in thefts. In contrast to media myth, none of the firearms in the study was obtained from gun shows. What was available "was the overriding factor in weapon choice,"


Thirty-six of the 50 officers in the study had "experienced hazardous situations where they had the legal authority" to use deadly force "but chose not to shoot." They averaged 4 such prior incidents before the encounters that the researchers investigated. "It appeared clear that none of these officers were willing to use deadly force against an offender if other options were available," the researchers concluded.

The offenders were of a different mind-set entirely. In fact, Davis said the study team "did not realize how cold blooded the younger generation of offender is. They have been exposed to killing after killing, they fully expect to get killed and they don't hesitate to shoot anybody, including a police officer. They can go from riding down the street saying what a beautiful day it is to killing in the next instant."

"Offenders typically displayed no moral or ethical restraints in using firearms," the report states. "In fact, the street combat veterans survived by developing a shoot-first mentality."

And it goes on - and gets worse.

March 28, 2010 at 2:40 p.m.
memphisexile said...

The hysteria over this incident is almost laughable. You live in a city people, there are gangs and crime and guns. I would like to know where you intend to live where there isn't crime like this happening on a regular basis. Here's an idea, instead of screeching about how you are going to move because you can't stand to live in such a "high crime" area like Chattanooga why don't you do something in the community to prevent such incidents from happening. Mentor a young person, volunteer at a school, participate in youth sports or after school programs. As a former Chattanooga resident who now lives in Memphis I can tell you Chattanoogans don't know how good they have it compared to other cities.

March 28, 2010 at 5:08 p.m.
memphisexile said...

Also the idea that some John Wayne wannabe with a pistol and a carry permit in a park will help these types of situations is ludicrous. The only people I want running around with guns are trained police officers. Just because someone can pass a carry permit test does not mean they have the training or mental capacity to use a firearm properly in any situation. Protect yourself if need be and leave the rest to the police. The rest of us don't need to know and don't care what you would have done, take your gun and go watch another Steven Seagal movie.

March 28, 2010 at 5:17 p.m.
rolando said...

One reason for officers hesitating to shoot a perp is all the legal action, public outrage, etc., against them afterward. They may win in the end, but there it is.

Once in that hot seat, wait until the next time they are placed in a "shoot/don't shoot" situation. It'll be "Call for SWAT backup" or cut and run; those are the smart choices.

I sure don't know why you uniforms keep on doin', but thank God for you...

March 28, 2010 at 5:33 p.m.
Sailorman said...


Your first post was spot on. I made the same point concerning all the flap over the Kanku's incident in which the residents demand more be done by the store owner rather than take the kind of steps you describe..

Your second post was a far as base as your first one was on. Hysteria over HCP holders is just as laughable. John Wayne indeed. sigh

March 28, 2010 at 5:56 p.m.
Sailorman said...


I believe permit holders should be able to carry anywhere. Yes, it does help deter some crime and certainly allows the individual to protect themselves. But I don't know that it would be much of a deterrent in cases like this. We're not talking about rational minds here (read the info I posted above). "Indiscriminate" is a hallmark of the gang mentality.

March 28, 2010 at 7:12 p.m.
memphisexile said...

I have no problem with people who carry guns to protect themselves. That is your constitutional right. The idea that those legally carrying guns will somehow deter crime does not make any sense.

Whoever shot up that crowd was not thinking about who else had guns in the park that night legal or not. They did not think about who they were going to hurt. They did not think and did not care about anything. No one who is crazy enough to discharge a gun into a crowd or commit any other crime will think twice because some vigilante might be present. In fact it may make them more violent with innocent bystanders for fear that there may be such a vigilante who could shoot them.

The idea that a civilian with a gun may decide in a situation where their life is not directly threatened s/he needs to use deadly force is more scary than the criminals. Chattanooga has a great police force. If you want to deter crime in parks become a park ranger. If you want to fight crime join the CPD. If not, keep your gun to yourself unless your life is in imminent danger.

March 28, 2010 at 7:13 p.m.
memphisexile said...

Also as to the guns in parks issue, Who Cares? For years no one knew or cared whether or not a HCP holder could have a gun in a park. No one worried if all these gun carrying persons were deterring the scourge of Tennessee we call park crime. I would think most HCP holders assumed they could carry in parks and did so without incident. Guns in parks is a non-issue brought up politicians to score political points. I would rather our state politicians concentrate on more important things like corruption, taxes and education.

March 28, 2010 at 7:22 p.m.
holland4 said...

I hate reading these stories about my old hometown. When I compare the crime stats between Chattanooga and where I live now, I'm relieved that my family and I left Chattanooga and moved to North Carolina. The schools are better here, too.

March 28, 2010 at 7:31 p.m.
xyzyra said...

Is this a coincidence that all these disturbances seem to come about at the precise time to bash the mayor and his talk of merging the county and city police? Reminds me of all those fires that broke out in another city recently when they laid off many of their firefighters. Firefighters then became FireStarters?

Who? Who? Really fired those shots to set things off?

March 28, 2010 at 8:13 p.m.
Sailorman said...


"The idea that a civilian with a gun may decide in a situation where their life is not directly threatened s/he needs to use deadly force is more scary than the criminals."

I could quibble about whether it's scarier or not but the rest of what you said, especially about the politicians, is so spot on I'll let it go. :)

March 28, 2010 at 8:13 p.m.
diamondr54 said...

If you were not in the area last night, you do not have a clue, how large this situation was. I only saw the spill over on to Frazier Averue. I commend the officers for their working of the situation. I was shocked by the age of a great deal of the individuals. The majority were under 18. Something is going to have to be done to help the police control the gangs. Seeing the situation last night from Frazier makes me all more supportive of the police officers. They were great in protecting my wife and I from driving into the situation. I also saw a young man and his girlfriend on Frazier beside us,his girlfriend was so scared that she was bent down in the floorboard of their car. This is not the Chattanooga that I grew up to respect. I have a teen age daughter. She will not be allowed to the Northside of the river at night.

March 28, 2010 at 10:25 p.m.
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