Police responded to reports of a shooting at a nightclub just before 2:45 am, Jeremy Eames, a spokesperson for the Chattanooga Police Department, told CNN. Officers found multiple victims when they arrived and began rendering medical aid.
In all, 14 victims were shot while three others were hit by vehicles attempting to flee the scene, Eames said. Among the three deaths, two stemmed from gunshot wounds and one stemmed from injuries sustained after the victim was struck by a vehicle, he said.
Police believe multiple shooters using several types of firearms were involved. No suspects are in custody, and police have yet to identify any potential suspects or victims.
A motive for the shooting is unclear, but authorities believe the shooting was an isolated incident “in which one or more of the victims were targeted.”
In a news conference Sunday, Mayor Tim Kelly expressed frustration, telling reporters, “I’m tired of standing in front of you talking about guns and bodies.”
Kelly vowed he and the city council would spend time in the coming weeks to address gun violence, saying they would “treat this like the crisis it is.”
The mayor himself is a gun owner and lifelong hunter and marksman, he said, and he supports responsible gun ownership.
“But Congress needs to do their jobs and pass common sense regulations that will help stop this nonsense,” he said.
“That does not 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.”