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Updated: New details emerge in Elegante shooting - Odessa American: Crime & Justice

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Updated: New details emerge in Elegante shooting

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Posted: Thursday, October 4, 2012 4:36 pm

The 18-year-old Waco man accused of shooting Curtis Johnson Tuesday night in the MCM Elegante Hotel parking lot says his gun went off accidentally, court documents show.

Johnson, also 18, was shot in the back, according to an arrest affidavit. Police initially reported Johnson was shot in the upper right arm. But that was an exit wound, Cpl. Sherrie Carruth, police spokeswoman, said Thursday.

Johnson had been upgraded to serious condition by Thursday afternoon.

The man accused of shooting him is Willie Earl Solomon III, 1100 N. Sixth St., Waco, who remained in Ector County Detention Center on charges of on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and misdemeanor failure to identify himself as a fugitive. Solomon's bond was set at a total $113,000 Thursday, but Solomon was also being held on a parole violation.

Police were called out to the MCM Elegante, 5200 E. University Blvd., at about 8:30 p.m. They found 18-year-old Curtis Johnson lying in the parking lot with a gunshot wound. Johnson was transported in critical condition to Medical Center Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery, the arrest affidavit stated.

Officers met with security employees and watched surveillance video of a dark-colored vehicle on the south side of the hotel. Within minutes, multiple people exited and re-entered the vehicle, the affidavit stated. Then the vehicle left two people at the scene, and they walked away.

Officers found them in the area and took them to the Odessa Police Department. Solomon initially identified himself as “Wilford Sanders” and claimed he was 19-years-old, the affidavit stated. The other man was Dominique Blankenship, a 20-year-old man from Odessa.

The affidavit stated Blankenship identified “Sanders” as the shooter and claimed the gun went off accidentally. But Blankenship also said, according to the document, that “Sanders” had told Johnson just before the incident he would “burn” him, which is slang for shoot him, while “Sanders” was holding a gun.

Solomon refused to speak with police when they read him his Miranda Warning, the affidavit stated, but he claimed he was holding the gun and it went off.

Police identified the driver of the vehicle as Donald Harrell Wayne Phillips, 18, who corroborated Blankenship’s account, the affidavit stated.

Police initially charged Solomon with a failure to appear charge and an outstanding parole violation charge. The failure to appear charge stemmed from a terroristic threat case in Falls County, a jail official said Wednesday evening. The aggravated assault charge was added Wednesday.

Police arrested Blankenship too after they discovered an outstanding warrant, but the charges were completely unrelated to the shooting, Carruth said. Blankenship was being held Wednesday at Ector County Detention Center, accused of going off bond on two charges of possession of a controlled substance and one charge of evading arrest in a vehicle. The jail also listed four misdemeanor charges. Blankenship’s total bond was set at $75,000.

Police did not charge Phillips with a crime.

 

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