An estimated crowd of 200 were in Lakebottom Park a week ago when a bullet struck a 16-year-old girl who was there to watch a basketball tournament, a Columbus police detective said Saturday.
Jonathan Jawon Williams, 19, is accused of shooting Tealiyah Strawter in the left knee about 4:44 p.m. March 17 while she was at the park with friends. He pleaded innocent to two counts of aggravated assault, one count each of reckless conduct and possession of a firearm during a crime during a Recorder’s Court hearing. Judge Michael Joyner ordered Williams held without bond in the Muscogee County Jail and all charges were bound over to Superior Court.
Police Detective Katina Williams said the suspect encountered another teen minutes before he went to a vehicle, pulled out a gun and fired five shots in the teen’s direction in a parking lot near the restrooms. Strawter started running and thought she had hit her leg on a pine tree before she realized she had been shot.
“He was shooting into the crowd,” Williams said. “He was shooting at children too.”
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Essence Denson, the victim’s friend, testified in court that she saw the gun in Williams’ hand before shots were fired. Police recovered five shell casings from a .22-caliber pistol in the parking lot.