Victim confronts alleged Morehouse Street shooter during hearing

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 31, 2014 

Derrick Hightower

More than two years after he was shot in the stomach, a Morehouse Street man was given the opportunity to confront his alleged gunman during a Friday morning Recorder's Court hearing.

Derrick L. Hightower, 26, faced an aggravated assault charge during the hearing. He was transported to Muscogee County Jail Monday from an Atlanta prison, where he has been incarcerated for more than a year on undisclosed charges, according to court testimony.

An officer told the court that the then 41-year-old victim was sitting inside his 3100 block home on Nov. 6, 2011 with another resident. Two men approached the house and the victim went to see what they wanted.

The two men allegedly told the victim that they were attempting to buy drugs. When the victim asked them to leave, Hightower allegedly drew a gun and shot the resident. The victim attempted to shield himself from the shot, but it passed through his left hand and into his stomach.

The two men then took off running, the officer said. Columbus Police later released a warrant for Hightower's arrest, according to a Ledger-Enquirer report.

The second suspect was not identified.

At the time of the warrant's release, the victim was in critical condition at Midtown Medical Center, according to the report.

Hightower was arrested in Atlanta at an unspecified date.

During the hearing, the victim demanded the suspect tell him why he shot him.

"I still have a bullet in my back. I lost my thumb. I lost everything," the victim said. "I don't know him. Nobody deserves to get shot like that for no reason."

Judge Michael Joyner set no bond on Hightower, citing prior charges. The case will be forwarded to Muscogee County Superior Court.

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