A detective testified Tuesday that a 16-year-old shot near Howard School had 11 bullet holes in his body and had been shot nine times.
General Sessions Judge Clarence Shattuck kept Courtney Birt under no bond after three youths said they witnessed the killing of Lamunta Williams a week ago in an abandoned house on Carr Street. He is charged with criminal homicide.
The juveniles said they first went to a washateria across from Howard, then moved on to the house around 8 a.m.
They said Williams was fearful that Birt was coming after him. A male Howard student said he thought a girl who was at the house was tipping off Birt to where they were. He said at one point he took a cellphone away from her.
The same student said as they were walking to the house that someone who was hostile toward Williams yelled at him from a passing car.
Witnesses said the victim was a member of the Crips gang and Birt is a rival Blood member.
The first female, speaking in a voice that was barely audible, said she heard a knock on the door about 10 a.m., then heard a shot. "Everybody froze," she said.
She said she saw Birt wearing a hoodie, a red toboggan and black jeans and holding a gun.
The witness said Birt had earlier threatened to kill Williams.
The girl said after the shooting stopped, "I tried to get him off the floor. He wouldn't move."
A second female who said Birt is her cousin said she was on a CARTA bus with Birt the previous Friday and he told her, "I'm going to kill your little boyfriend." She said Birt had had previous run-ins with Williams and he was mad because of an incident between his girlfriend and Williams.
She said that day Williams was fearful that Birt was coming after him and he had her keep looking out the door. She said she spotted Birt coming and she warned Williams to run. She said Williams stayed in the living room, expecting there would be a fight.
But she said Birt came inside, reached in his pocket and pulled out a black handgun. She said the first shot he fired struck the victim in the face. Detective Karl Fields said the autopsy stated that the victim died from a shot to the head.
The girl said when Birt had first pulled the gun she struggled with him, but she was unable to get the weapon away from him.
She said after the shooting she ran out into the street screaming.
Detective Fields said the girlfriend of Birt told him he was upset because of an incident at Howard that occurred between her and Williams on Valentine's Day.
The detective said he got the girlfriend out of the lockdown at Howard to interview her soon after the shooting.
He said Birt surrendered early that afternoon.
Judge Shattuck called it "a tragic situation that might not have occurred had these young people not been skipping school. It is not a good commentary on our community."