Shots From 2 Guns Were Fired At Scene Of Slaying Of Damico Lawrence At The Hamilton Inn

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A detective said shots from two different guns were fired on July 2 in a room at the Hamilton Inn on Rossville Boulevard, where Damico Lawrence was found with 10 bullet wounds.

A charge of criminal homicide was bound to the Grand Jury on Tuesday against Malik Phillips. General Sessions Court Judge Alex McVeigh kept his bond the same.

The longtime girlfriend of Lawrence said she had taken him to the Hamilton Inn and did not ask what his business there was. She said she saw him get from $200 to $300 out of a dresser before leaving.

He told her to "sit in the car and wait." She said she "had a bad feeling" about what was happening, then she heard four or five gunshots ring out.

She said a man with a red shirt and dreads came out and told her to check on Lawrence, saying he was "tripping out." She said he died shortly after she found him in room 312.

The girlfriend said she could not say if the man with the dreads was Phillips.

A caller to 911 shortly after the shooting said someone had tried to rob him at the Hamilton Inn. The phone then went dead.

Video showed the man in the red short and dreads come out of the building and get into a blue SUV and leave. Detective Corey Stokes said the SUV belonged to the brother of Phillips, who occupied room 312. But he said the brother was not at the Hamilton Inn that afternoon.

The detective tried to interview Phillips when he was arrested 11 days after the shooting, but he asked for a lawyer.

The detective said a 9 mm handgun, that belonged to the girlfriend, was found under where Phillips was lying. A 9mm spent shell casing was found in the room along with a 9mm magazine that was improperly loaded.

There were five spent 45 rounds. It was testified that the 10 bullet wounds on the victim could have been five shots each with an entry and an exit wound.

The detective said it has not been possible to check the contents of the victim's phone because it is locked.

The girlfriend said Lawrence, 27, was born with sickle cell anemia and was unable to work. He had served a term in prison for aggravated burglaries. Police said he was a validated gang member.

Phillips last year got an 18-month sentence on a federal gun charge.




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