Mayor Kelly Decries Downtown Murder; Defends Police

  • Friday, September 29, 2023

Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly released the following statement regarding Thursday night’s Market Street shooting and the subsequent arrest of the suspect:

“Last night's shooting was a terrible tragedy that our community will not soon forget. My heart goes out to Chris Wright’s wife and children, and all his family, friends, and colleagues, who have suffered this terrible, unjust loss. 

While we are still collecting all of the facts about this heartbreaking tragedy, there are some things we do know: this was not gang violence, or a mugging, or a robbery.

It was an isolated, senseless, and brazen act of gun violence after what appears to be a verbal exchange. 

Some suggest that this is the result of a police department that isn’t doing its job. Nothing could be further from the truth. The effectiveness of CPD’s presence and engagement throughout the community and its focused deterrence strategies are well documented. The sad reality is that sometimes proactive policing only goes so far, particularly when you’re dealing with the kind of person who would commit a murderous act of apparent rage in front of witnesses on the steps of his own apartment building under the blue light of a well-known public safety camera.

Gun violence is taking a serious personal toll on people’s lives and hurting Chattanoogans’ ability to feel safe in our community. Like every proud resident of Chattanooga, I’m outraged at every life lost at the hands of those committing senseless, violent acts. I’m sick of it, and as mayor, I will not tolerate it. If you commit violent crime in Chattanooga, you can be certain that we will use every tool in our arsenal to lock you up- and we have a nation-leading closure rate of more than 80%.

There are many questions yet to be answered in this case, but Chief Murphy’s track record and the police department’s work investigating cases like this one is not one of them. I’d like to thank the Chattanooga Police Department and all our law enforcement partners for getting the suspect off our streets so swiftly.”

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