A middle-aged Tennessee woman is under arrest after she drove around a suburban Chattanooga neighborhood, inexplicably shooting at people and vehicles. Julia Shields, 45, has been arrested and faces multiple felony charges, after she terrorized her neighborhood on Friday. Shields faces three counts of attempted murder and seven counts of aggravated assault. She also faces charges for reckless endangerment, evading arrest, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
The woman fired shots randomly at vehicles and continued to aim her gun at vehicles even while she was being chased by police. She also pointed her firearm at police officers, but she was eventually arrested and taken alive.
Shields resides in the Hixson neighborhood in the North part of Chattanooga. The shootings took place in the same area. Hixson is a predominately white, upper middle-class neighborhood, where the household median income is well above the state average.
So far, neither the police nor the media have identified a motive for why the woman went on a shooting spree. Nor has any information been released regarding whether or not she has a prior criminal record. Until more information is known about the alleged shooter, it will be difficult to determine what motivated her to drive around turning her neighborhood into a free fire zone.
The suspects behavior clearly menaced the community and the police officers who pursued her. Were an African-American male to act in this manner, he would no doubt be labeled a thug by bloggers and conservative commentators. Under identical circumstances, it is also likely that a young black male would have been shot rather than apprehended unharmed by police officers.
Shields is being held in the Hamilton County Jail. Bond has not been set yet. Shields is scheduled to appear before Judge Gary Starnes on January 5th.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.