HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)– The man accused of opening fire at a crowded basketball tournament near an elementary school was arraigned in court today. Roosevelt Holmes, 23, stood on crutches in court.
“He has been cooperative. He has claimed it is a self defense situation,” said his attorney Gerald Klein.
In court documents, Holmes told police he was just watching the basketball when someone grabbed his Cartier sunglasses.
When Holmes resisted, he said that guy pulled out a gun and started shooting. Holmes told officers he ran, was shot in the leg, and then began to return fire pulling the trigger 4 to 5 times.
Police say Justin Jones, 23, of Hartford, took a bullet in the hip and Shawn Patterson, 24, was shot in the hand. Police say James Headen, 41, died from a gunshot to the head and Morris Knight lives up the street from the Headen family.
“I feel for them you know? Whatever happens in the neighborhood we’ll get together and see what they need,” said Knight.
He also lives across the street from the basketball courts and he said when they hosted the tournament last year it was different.
Knight said, “The first year they had it, they had two cruisers on that corner right there. They had a fire engine on that corner.”
This year police say organizers of the Heat On Street basketball tournament never got a permit. We reached out to the founder Maurice Eastwood and his attorney said Eastwood would share his side of the story Tuesday. Knight said he thinks the police presence would have been a deterrent.
“Somebody’s got a gun, if they see the police there I wouldn’t think they would use it,” said Knight. “The old days we used to fight with our hands with our firsts, you lose the fight you win the next one.These young kids they don’t fight, they shoot.”
At this point there have been no other arrests and they have not charged Holmes with the murder of 41 year old James Headen.They’re waiting on autopsy results to see what kind of bullet struck Headen. Holmes is being held on a $2 mil. dollars bond.