Police Say Recent Shootings Are Gang Warfare

Several Arrests Made Of Validated Gang Members

Monday, May 4, 2009

A recent series of shooting incidents have been found to have gang ties, according to the Crime Suppression Unit of the Chattanooga Police Department.

Investigators said they received intelligence a few weeks ago that shootings were going to occur at select locations throughout East Lake and Brainerd. Following up on tips received, police pinpointed the 3100 block of Dodds Avenue and 100 block of South Germantown Road.

During the early morning hours on Friday, police responded to 2746 4th Avenue Court and spoke to Amanda Cosby, who told police that she had been shot by a man named "Mal". Checking police data bases, it was determined that "Mal" is William Harris, a validated Blood member.

After checking several locations where Harris was known to hang out, police located him in the area of 1500 S. Hawthorne St. He was arrested for the shooting, while two other men, Derrick Hampton and Robert Dowdy, were arrested on other unrelated drug and weapon offenses observed at the scene. All three men have known ties to Bloods gangs, police said.

On Friday night, police responded to a call of a shooting near 3100 Dodds Ave., but were unable to locate a crime scene or victim. A short time later, the victim showed up at Parkridge Hospital, suffering from a gunshot wound to the arm. The victim, RaShawn Ware, refused to cooperate with police and very little information was obtained. Ware is also a validated Blood gang member, police said.

While dealing with the arrests of Harris, Dowdy, and Hampton and talking to Ware, investigators received information about an incident that occurred two weeks prior that they believed might be related to the four men and the retaliation shootings. There was a report of shots fired at 3918 Marigold Dr. in which six men were detained. One of the six men, Michael Branham, was arrested for violation of probation.

Once at the jail, Branham told police that he, too, had been shot a few days earlier, but he would not divulge the details of his incident. Checking with police personnel in the area, it was found that shots were fired at 103 Shallowford Road, but it is unknown if he was involved in that incident. No one was injured in that incident and there was no information to follow up on.

Police said, "Taking the totality if incidents into consideration, it was believed that the series of shootings were those that police were advised about for the East Lake and Brainerd areas."

Investigators then turned their attention toward three gangs - Gangster Disciples, Crips and Bloods.

Police acted on the information received on Friday and checked several locations throughout Brainerd and East Lake, including 2510 E. Main St. There, police observed a suspect vehicle identified from the Marigold Drive shooting incident. When police tried to stop the vehicle for a traffic violation, the driver attempted to elude police but was stopped a few blocks away. Five men were arrested from that traffic stop after several guns and drugs were recovered from the vehicle.

The occupants of the car were validated Gangster Disciple members and it is believed they were out looking for those responsible for shooting at them in an unreported shooting incident, police said.

The men arrested were Reese Cosby, DeAngelo Bryant, Ternae Hatten, Derrick Hampton and Brandon Hunter.

Investigators are continuing to identify and locate others that may possibly be involved in the series of shooting incidents, police said.

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