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Safety and Security: Douglas Heights

CHATTANOOGA, TENN ( Douglas Heights used to be known for housing many UTC college students. The proximity to the campus made the apartment complex convenient and appealing for students wanting to live off campus. However, they would still be able to walk to classes and onto campus just by crossing the street. In fact, you can see UTC housing from the windows of Douglas Heights.

            When tragedy stuck Douglas Heights, it left many in fear and trying to get out of their leases as soon as possible. On July 14th, 2019, three men were caught on camera shooting a gun into one of the residences apartments after they were not allowed into a party that was being thrown. The gun was fired 15 times until the three men left. This act left three people shot and one of the victims suffered fatal injuries. 25- year- old Rigoberto Jarquin was found dead on the scene with several gunshot wounds.

            Toddie Woods, his brother Omerial Woods, and Hyacinth Taylor were involved in the incident. Omerial handed the gun to his brother, Toddie, who then proceeded to shoot the weapon. Both Woods brothers were charged for their actions. Toddie Woods was charged with 1st degree murder and two counts of attempted murder. Toddie was arrested again for domestic assault charges while he was on bail for the Douglas Heights shooting. Police reported that they have been called to the apartment complex 842 times since they opened in 2016.

Toddie Woods: Man charged with 1st degree murder

            Many residents were left feeling fearful and unsafe. UTC student, Savannah Hodge was a resident of Douglas Heights at the time of the shooting. Hodges stated that “I thought it was going to be safe. I was like oh my gosh this is going to be great, so close to campus. But turn around two years later, and it’s not.” The Douglas Height’s establishment also encourages UTC students to live there by placing the university’s logo on their walls and windows. They are also known for advertising the apartment complex as “Student Housing,” but UTC has no official ties to the complex.  

About Rebecca Soetje

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