Police: Suspected NC court gunman turns himself in

AP News
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Posted: Oct 31, 2014 12:39 AM
Police: Suspected NC court gunman turns himself in

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A man suspected of opening fire this week on two victims in front of a courthouse turned himself in hours after his brother was charged in the crime, authorities said Thursday.

Brandon Tremaine Morris, whom investigators identified as the gunman in Tuesday's shooting, was being questioned by investigators, Nashville Police Chief Thomas Bashore said. An arrest warrant for the 31-year-old included charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

The other suspect, 36-year-old Demond Levar Morris, was taken into custody Wednesday night in Raleigh and charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill. He was being held on $500,000 bond after a court appearance. Authorities haven't said what his role in the shooting may have been.

Authorities have said the gunman ran up to the courthouse Tuesday around lunchtime, fired several times and ran away before escaping in a light-colored car. Panicked shoppers ducked into stores for cover along the normally quiet main thoroughfare for the town of 5,500 people.

Donte'a Evans ran into the courthouse and collapsed after he was shot in the leg and hand. Lamar Ricks was shot in the back and fled to a nearby lot where paramedics found him.

Both were hospitalized in Greenville in what authorities described Thursday as stable condition Thursday. Bashore said the men's conditions had been upgraded from critical, and they were expected to survive.

Authorities say the Morris brothers, both from Rocky Mount, were cooperating with investigators.

Court records show that Brandon Morris received probation on a 2010 conviction for marijuana possession. Demond Morris served several short stints in prison for drug convictions dating to 1995.

A message seeking comment wasn't immediately returned by Demond Morris's lawyer Tommy Moore. Bashore said he didn't know if Brandon Morris had a lawyer.

Another man had been identified as a suspect and brought in for questioning late Tuesday, but he was released after authorities determined he was elsewhere during the shooting.

Asked at a news conference whether he was sorry that the man had been identified a suspect, Sheriff Dave Jenkins replied: "I don't want to offer an apology. I want to say that's the way we do things.

"If we have information that, say, you did it, we're going to look at you and question you. When we find out there's nothing to it, we turn you loose. We're not going to do anything wrong intentionally, I can promise you that."