A prominent Tennessee businessman was shot and killed by a man with 66 prior arrests while on his way to attend his high school class’s 20th-anniversary reunion, authorities said.
Christopher Wright, 38, was in downtown Chattanooga on Thursday night to meet up with fellow Baylor School alumni when he got into an argument with Darryl Roberts, a career criminal known as “Too Tall,” Chattanoogan.com reports.
Surveillance of the incident shows Wright, a father of three, including an 8-week-old baby, talking to Roberts, 57, and another man before walking away.
Wright then turns around to say something to the two men, with Roberts reacting by walking up to him and firing his gun at Wright’s head, police said.
Wright was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died.
Robert quickly fled, but was captured by police the following day in a coordinated search with the US Marshals Service and the ATF.
Court records show that Roberts has a lengthy rap sheet that includes assault, thefts, drug charges, burglaries, a series of traffic offenses and a case of aggravated robbery in 2000.
One of his most notable arrests included a home invasion in 2010, where he fired six shots through a bedroom door in Hixson Pike.
One adult and four children were behind the door, but no one was hurt, police said.
Despite being arrested more than five dozen times, records show that Roberts never served more than six months behind bars.
Roberts now finds himself charged with first-degree murder and is being held at the Hamilton County Jail on a $5 million bond.
Chris Angel, the Baylor School president, mourned the loss of Wright, a high school football and baseball player who went on to study at Yale University before returning to Chattanooga to pursue business through several companies before settling down as a partner at Alderman Enterprises.
“The Baylor School community is heartbroken to learn of the sudden death of Christopher Wright ’03, who would have celebrated his 20th class reunion this weekend with his fellow classmates,” Angel wrote in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris and his family for their devastating loss.”
A GoFundMe page for Wright’s family has raised nearly $400,000 since his murder.
It revealed that Wright and his wife had just welcomed their third child into the world eight weeks ago.
Chattanooga Mayor Tim Kelly condemned the shooting, describing it as “an isolated, senseless, and brazen act of gun violence,” and suggesting it was unavoidable.
“The sad reality is that sometimes proactive policing only goes so far, particularly when you’re dealing with the kind of person who would commit a murderous act of apparent rage in front of witnesses on the steps of his own apartment building under the blue light of a well-known public safety camera,” Kelly said in a statement.