The 5-year-old boy apparently had just witnessed the shooting deaths of his mother and father.
“My daddy and my mama got shot,” the little boy told a police dispatcher on Sunday evening. “Can you come? They’re dead … I’m all by myself.”
“You said your brother and your mama is doing what?” the dispatcher asked the child.
“My mama and my daddy got shot,” the boy then repeated.
“They’re fighting?” the dispatcher then asked.
“No,” he replied. “This dude shot ’em.”
Officers came on the scene to find his parents, George Dillard, 24, and Lakita Hicks, 25, dead inside after the boy helped police locate his home, according to News Channel 9. The boy wasn’t injured.
Chattanooga has been grappling with gang violence for some time. Police didn’t say whether the murders were gang-related but said Dillard was a gang member and belonged to the 52 Bloodstone Villains, reported the Times Free Press.
— Drew Bollea (@Drew_BolleaNC9) February 1, 2016
“We have dual concerns here,” Chief Fred Fletcher with the Chattanooga Police Department told News Channel 9. “Finding the people who committed this atrocious act of violence and making sure we help the people who have survived it and are affected by it.”
Police said the boy, who was not named, is now in the care of a relative. They have not identified any suspects in the shooting.
“A man was brutally murdered in broad daylight in our community,” Fletcher added in a video, according to a Chicago Tribune transcript. “We have credible information that gang members perpetrated this heinous act of violence. … Let me be very, very clear about this. If you are part of a gang or a group that intends to harm our community, we are looking at you and we are looking for you. You can make the choice to stop this violence, or we can make you stop the violence.”
A neighbor said Dillard and Hicks had been with each other for some time and had lived in their apartment for two years.
“She seemed to be nice, not a real rowdy person,” neighbor Coretha Higgins said, referring to Hicks.