Shooting outside Riverbend involved large crowd of juveniles; two 13-year-olds shot – Chattanooga Times Free Press

Shooting outside Riverbend involved \large crowd of juveniles;\ two 13-year-olds shot - Chattanooga Times Free Press
UPDATE: Teen charged in double-shooting outside Riverbend Festival
Police tape wraps around the scene of a double shooting Saturday night in Chattanooga just outside the Riverbend venue.

A shooting outside the Riverbend Festival involved a large crowd of juveniles spending their Saturday night loitering near the Tennessee Aquarium.

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Police charge juvenile with shooting at Riverbend Saturday Night

Two 13-year-old boys were shot, allegedly by a 14-year-old boy, shortly before 10 p.m., not long after headliner Macklemore took the main stage on the final night of the festival.

2 shot outside Riverbend venue in Chattanooga; Suspect arrested

“This is a lot of people that have come down here tonight to enjoy Riverbend, to enjoy downtown Chattanooga, to enjoy fireworks,” police Chief David Roddy said. “An incident like this, where people just choose to inflict violence in our community, it is alarming. It is disturbing for us.”

Dozens of officers were nearby providing security for the festival. They swarmed the area almost immediately and drew their weapons. The teenagers ran from the scene.

Officers located the two victims and chased the suspect, who pulled a gun on an officer, according to Chattanooga police spokesperson Trevor Tomas. The suspect was arrested and taken to the Hamilton County Juvenile Detention Center. The two victims' injuries are not considered life-threatening, according to Tomas.

The victims and suspect will not been identified due to their age. The suspect was charged with two counts of attempted murder, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

“We're grateful for the swift response of the Chattanooga Police Department and hope the two young victims recover quickly and completely,” aquarium spokesman Thom Benson wrote in an email. “This is a community problem, and we will help however we can as we all work together to address the issues.”

Aquarium security and Chattanooga police actively try to limit loitering outside the facility late at night, Benson wrote. The aquarium's free WiFi is turned off after hours, the facility has added off-duty officers, installed barriers, added security cameras and put in additional lighting.

The shooting is not believed to have been connected to Riverbend in any way, according to Roddy. Riverbend Executive Director Chip Baker called the incident “unfortunate” but said it “happened outside” the festival and didn't have additional comment.

Some nearby concert-goers traveling to and from the festival heard a loud pop as they waited to cross the intersection of Broad Street and Aquarium Way.

“Was that a gunshot or fireworks?” one person said — a question asked by several others at the same street corner as they waited for the traffic light to change.

One victim was lying on the ground just in front of the small man-made creek that flows in front of the aquarium's River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings. The victims were shot in the parking lot in front of the neighboring Puckett's Grocery & Restaurant, according to police.

“It's a tragic thing that happened to the young boys out there in downtown Chattanooga, which I consider a very safe and welcoming place,” Puckett's manager David McLain said. “

Police have not yet released a motive for the shooting. Anyone with additional information about the shooting is asked to call police at 423-698-2525. Callers can remain anonymous.

Contact staff writer Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.

Contact staff writer Mark Pace at mpace@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6659. Follow him on Twitter @themarkpace and on Facebook at ChattanoogaOutdoorsTFP.

Officer Tomas says the suspect pulled a gun on an officer during a brief foot chase but no shots were fired by the suspect or officer.

The teen suspect was arrested and charged with two counts of Attempted Murder, Aggravated Assault, and Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony.

The two shooting victims were taken to a local hospital. Police say the victims are expected to be okay.

ORIGINAL STORY: Chattanooga Police are on the scene of a shooting in a parking lot outside of the Riverbend Festival.

Police say two people were shot and transported to a local hospital. There is no information on their conditions.

According to Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy, one person has been detained who is believed to be connected to the shooting.

"That person has been transported back to the police department to determine what their connection is to the event," Roddy told reporters.

"I don't know that any of the individuals that were connected to this, that we have spoken to, had any connection or any kind of (Riverbend) armbands," said Roddy.

Roddy calls the shooting "alarming" on a night that thousands of people were expected to attend the festival on its last night to see Macklemore and a fireworks display.

"I talked with Chattanooga Police and they assured me that the shooting took place outside festival grounds," said Amy Morrow, Director of Marketing for Friends of the Festival. "We are sorry to hear that a shooting happened on such a festive night. Safety of our fans is of the upmost importance."


Posted in Chattanooga