KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday Marquez Billingsley, a man Knoxville police described as a “major person of interest” in the shooting death of Jajuan Lathan, 12, has been arrested in Chattanooga.
TBI said Billingsley, 18, was arrested by TBI, U.S. Marshals and Chattanooga police officers during a traffic stop Tuesday afternoon at the intersection of Dodds Avenue and East 23rd Street in Chattanooga.
Billingsley was wanted for aggravated robbery, aggravated assault and carjacking charges for incidents since the shooting, as well as unrelated outstanding warrants including possession of a stolen weapon and reckless driving. Billingsley was subsequently added to the TBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list.
Jajuan Latham, 12, was shot in the head while sitting in the back of his father’s parked car in Mechanicsville on April 16 during what police say was a gang-related shooting at Danny Mayfield Park. Knoxville police are still working tirelessly to find out who’s responsible.
Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said some of their information said Billingsley was in Knoxville, but they had also received tips that he may be in Chattanooga. Chief Rausch said the Knoxville Police Department has worked closely with the Chattanooga Police Department.
“We’ve been sharing intelligence very close back and forth between Chattanooga and our folks. You know we picked-up somebody they were looking for in a shooting over there, so it’s nice to have it reciprocated,” said Chief Rausch.
As for what’s next, after Billingsley’s arrest, Chief Rausch their investigators will have a conversation with him to see if he will speak. Rausch said he’s hoping Billingsley will confirm some information that they already know.
“We do know he’s a dangerous individual,” said Rausch. We know that he committed a couple of offense since the Latham incident and so, you know, another very dangerous individual is off our streets right now and he’ll be held accountable for those crimes that he committed after that and then if he has some direct involvement in this shooting, the death of Jajuan Latham and this unborn child, then we’ll certainly look forward to bringing charges at that point.”
Chief Rausch said he thinks there is only a loose connection between Knoxville and Chattanooga gangs. He said most of the connections between Knoxville and Chattanooga are more about family than a gang connection.