Russell Paris / photo provided by Hamilton District Attorneys
Chattanooga Police and Hamilton District Attorneys are seeking help from the public in resolving two shootings in December that resulted in the death of two senior citizens.
With the help of Crime Stoppers and an anonymous donor, officials are offering up to $ 14,100 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of “the people responsible for these two heinous acts,” District Attorney Neal Pinkston said at a news conference on Wednesday.
The two victims – Gloria Hill, 66, and Russell Paris, 61, both grandparents and unrelated – were two of three people killed within 24 hours between November 30 and December 1.
“Not only two people were killed in this neighborhood,” said Chattanooga Police Chief David Roddy. “You had two families who lost a loved one. You had two families who lost one [grandparent]. They had a person who had devoted their life to improving the lives of children in a local school. You turned off two lights. “
A suspect in the November 30 shooting that killed 38-year-old Timothy Taylor – Jaylon Hill, who is related to Gloria Hill – was arrested at the location of Gloria Hill’s murder.
Both Taylor and Gloria Hill were killed at the same address – Gloria Hill’s home – on the 1700 block on South Willow Street.
But police couldn’t say Wednesday if all three shootings were linked, although they didn’t rule out the Gloria Hill and Paris killings were linked.
Gloria Hill / photo provided by the Hamilton District Attorney
“There’s always that possibility,” said Roddy. “We have no information that I know to connect [those] two on purpose, but if we understand the proximity of the two crimes and understand that they were committed on the same dates, we cannot count that at this point. And so we hope that more information will be published either telling us that this is the case [connected] or conclude that they are not. “
“Seniors are among our most vulnerable populations,” said Pinkston. “Chief Roddy and I, and the investigators in this case, believe that the people in this neighborhood have information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for these horrific acts.”
Back on November 30, just after 9 p.m., a police witness told police that Taylor had gone to Gloria Hill’s home on the 1700 block on South Willow Street to raise some money from a man named “Stew”. When he got there, a man later identified as Jaylon Hill approached the vehicle and is believed to have shot Taylor as he pulled out of the driveway.
Almost six hours later, on December 1, at 2:40 a.m., police were called to the Paris home on the 1700 block on South Kelly Street. They found him with a gunshot wound and he was taken to a local hospital. But he died shortly afterwards.
Paris had been outside with his dog when he was shot and eyewitnesses described a gray Dodge Charger leaving the scene.
At 6:10 p.m. that same day, police were again called to Gloria Hill on South Willow Street. They found Gloria Hill with a gunshot wound. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
While the police were there, Jaylon Hill approached them and asked what was going on. At that moment, the police recognized him as a suspect in the shooting the night before and quickly arrested him.
Staff photo of Matt Hamilton / Chattanooga Police Commissioner David Roddy and District Attorney Neal Pinkston speak to media representatives during a press conference on the corner of S. Willow Street and E. 18th Street in Chattanooga on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.
“Based on the timeframe, location, and nature of the incident, investigators believe someone in the community has information about the suspect or other information relevant to the case,” District Attorney spokesman Bruce Garner said in a press release.
“We believe this church is ready to come forward and help us find the people who did this – the people who committed this act of violence and harmed these families, this church, this city” said Roddy.
“No matter how small this detail, no matter how small this fact is, people declare it unimportant, I promise you, I promise [the] Community, it’s important, “he added.” So we need the community to come up with the little bits of information that they may have or that they saw on December 1st, 2020. “
“Investigators could have this whole story in full, but for a fact they don’t know,” Pinkston said. “And while someone may think so [detail] seems insignificant, it can be very significant, it completes the story, it completes the picture, and it allows a fee decision to be advanced.
“Optimistically, I hope we can work overtime for the amount of support and connections the community has given us,” said Roddy.
Contact Rosana Hughes at 423-757-6327, [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.