P.T. Cole Park murder trial: Eye witness gives account of shooting
POSTED: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 10:24am
UPDATED: Wednesday, August 6, 2014 - 2:18pm
Tyler (KETK) — On the second day of trail, state prosecutors interviewed an eye witness in the P.T. Cole Park murder of Briana Young.
Darrian Lee, 20, of Tyler, took the stand in Judge Jack Skeen's 241st District Court to give his accounts of what happened on July 20, 2013. Lee, who has a pending cocaine charge, stated he first saw one of the alleged shooters, Dennis Bendy, earlier in the day at a local business talking to Javier Wilson Hurd. They two were allegedly discussing a truce between their rival gangs.
Later in the day, Lee and Hurd were called by a female who asked them to come to P.T. Cole Park to hang out with a group of girls, including Young. The park was known to be an opposing gang's "territory."
After arriving, Hurd unloaded his gun and left it inside Lee's vehicle. The group was sitting at a park bench when they noticed the alleged shooter's car circling the park. During this time, someone stepped out of the car on Shaw Street and then the vehicle drove around to park diagonally behind Lee's car on Mockingbird Lane, stated the witness.
Lee said a first round of rapid gunshots were believed to be taken from inside the park area by the bathrooms, in the Shaw Street direction. About 10 to 15 seconds later, more gunshots rang out from near Lee's vehicle on Mockingbird.
When bullets began flying, the group at the park bench scrambled and Hurd and Lee ran toward Lee's vehicle. As the pair approached the car, the suspected shooter vehicle was pulling away. At this time, Lee stated Hurd threw his unloaded gun at the car.
The two then left the scene and were taken into custody nearby by police. Lee said he was never able to make out the identity of the gunmen and did not see Young get shot.
On Monday, District Attorney Matt Bingham stated Bendy, who was the alleged driver, fired eight bullets with a 9mm Glock. His accomplice, Elisha Williams shot 11 times with a 9mm Ruger. Ballistics showed the victim, 20-year-old Briana Young, was killed by a Ruger bullet.
A second bullet was found lodged in Young's leg, but the origin could not be determined, said Bingham. A third suspect, Goldstein had an AK-47, but did not fire the gun.
The state claims the motive for the case is gang affiliation and the gunmen were shooting at a rival group when the victim was caught in cross-fire.