CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. – A shooting near a Tennessee nightclub early Sunday led to three deaths and 14 people suffering gunshot wounds and other injuries, police said.
Fourteen people were hit by gunfire and three were hit by vehicles while trying to flee the scene, according to Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy. Two people died from gunshot wounds and one person died after being hit by a vehicle. Sixteen of the victims were adults and one was a juvenile and several remained in critical condition, she said.
Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly, who described himself as an “avid hunter” and gun owner, called on Congress to enact “common sense regulations” to address gun violence. Kelly is an independent.
“That doesn’t mean taking guns away from responsible gun owners, but it does mean mandatory background checks and prohibiting high-capacity magazines that allow shooters to hurt dozens of people without even having to reload,” he said at a press conference. Kelly said his administration would announce new steps in the coming weeks aimed at reducing gun violence locally.
Officers responded to a report of a shooting at 2:42 a.m. on McCallie Avenue near a nightclub and found multiple victims upon arrival. Murphy said officers immediately began rendering aid and securing the scene.
There were multiple shooters and Murphy asked anyone in the community with information about the shooting to come forward. She said police believe it was an isolated incident and authorities don't believe there's an ongoing public safety threat.
Murphy said it would be a complex investigation going forward.
“We're trying to determine exactly what happened and what led up to this taking place,” she said.
The shooting comes the weekend after six juveniles were wounded during an exchange of gunfire in a downtown Chattanooga business district.
“It’s going to be a long summer, and we have got to get out in front of it and put a stop to it,” Kelly said.
AP writer Rebecca Reynolds contributed from Simpsonville, Ky.