Report: Semiautomatic pistol used in fatal shooting

Jan. 18—A 62-year-old Dalton man who died last year after being shot "would only" tell a police officer a "Black guy" shot him, and "the victim would not give any other information," according to a Dalton Police Department incident report.

The report said a semiautomatic pistol was used in the shooting of Kenneth Ray Townsend at 801 Selvidge St.-apartment 7 on March 31, 2022.

A man who identified himself as Townsend's brother called 911 and told a responding police officer he found his brother lying on the floor and bleeding. The officer said in his report that Townsend was shirtless. Another officer found several shell casings in the floor. The first officer found a bullet wound in Townsend's left arm and another bullet hole in Townsend's "left stomach area."

The officer asked Townsend "who had done this to him."

"The subject would only say that a 'Black guy' had shot him," the report said. "The victim would not give any other information."

Several shell casings were also found outside in front of the apartment.

Two officers visited several houses in the neighborhood. Residents at six residences "did not see or hear anything." One had "cameras outside but they do not work." No one was at home at another.

Townsend was taken by ambulance to Hamilton Medical Center where he died shortly after. Initial information provided to investigators indicated the shooter was a Black male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. The suspect had fled before officers arrived.

Gabriel Mekel Adams, then 19, of 1247 Derby Drive, Cohutta, was charged with two counts of murder (non-family, gun) and aggravated assault (gun) by the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office for the shooting. He was arrested in April 2022 in Chattanooga with the help of the U.S. Marshals Service and the Chattanooga Police Department. He waived extradition from Tennessee. He remained in the Whitfield County jail on Wednesday without bond according to the sheriff's office's website. His next court date is Feb. 15.

Dalton Police Department investigators determined a Dalton woman was with Adams during the shooting and afterward. In consultation with the District Attorney's Office investigators last week obtained warrants for her arrest on the same charges as Adams: two counts of murder (non-family, gun) and one count of aggravated assault (gun).

Kyera Deshae Betton, 21, was arrested without incident on Friday at the Dalton Police Services Center, police said. She remained in the Whitfield County jail on Wednesday without bond according to the sheriff's office's website.