CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Four shots pierced the air on what was a peaceful evening in Coolidge Park last night, resulting in two people being injured – both men aged 21 and 31.
The injuries were non-life threatening, but the incident has left the community shaken.
News 12’s own Angela Moryan happened to be a witness to the incident.
“I run a photography business so I actually had a family session in the park and around 6:30 we were wrapping up and we just heard four loud pops, like ‘pop, pop, pop, pop,'” she describes.
She couldn’t believe what she had heard.
“We all like turned this way because we were right under the bridge there and we just turned this way and I said to my client, I said, ‘was that?’ And she said, “I don’t know.'”
Jeremy Eames with Chattanooga Police attributed the violence to pent up anger associated with the many difficulties of the pandemic.
“We’re coming out of an incredibly difficult year. The pandemic was hard for everybody, everything was locked down. You had a summer and a fall where people just couldn’t do anything,” says Eames.
News 12 also spoke with locals who said that they were shocked that something like this could ever happen in a place like Coolidge Park.
“It definitely makes you want to stop and think and be just more aware of your surroundings and, you know, I have a little life that I’m responsible for and I care about, so I just feel like it makes me stop and think more,” says Abigail Parraghm, a mother who was at the park with her young children.
Chattanooga Police has said that they will be increasing patrols in the downtown and North Shore areas as a result of this incident.
They do believe that the incident was gang-related, although that is not yet confirmed.