Johann Gamble was involved in an altercation with murder suspect Andre Demetrius Dixon moments before Jeremy Bernard Dixon fatally shot him in front of his two daughters, according to testimony today in Columbus Recorder's Court.
Andre Dixon, 32, of Columbus pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, which was bound over to Superior Court. The defendant was returned to the Muscogeee County Jail without bond, but officials confirmed Friday morning that the search continues for Jeremy Dixon.
Columbus Police said Gamble was walking to his 3807 Pembrook Court apartment on July 20 when Andre Dixon called him over to a nearby vehicle to speak with him.
At the time, Andre Dixon was standing in front of his 2012 Chevy Malibu and Jeremy Dixon was standing next to the driver's door, police Sgt. Michael Dahnke noted.
Police said Gamble's daughters, who live in a different apartment at that same complex, went outside around that same time. One daughter went to see her 38-year-old father and the other headed to a car to retrieve something, officials stated.
That's when the girls witnessed the defendant initiate an argument with their father, Dahnke told the court.
"The defendant was heard complaining about the victim's daughter...," he testified. "The victim tells the defendant to take it up with the property manager, and the defendant replies he is taking it up with him."
Authorities said Andre Dixon then struck the victim in the face, and the victim returned the punch. Gamble was running away from the men when Jeremy Dixon fatally shot him in the back, police said.
The daughters, who are between 10 and 12 years old, witnessed the incident and ran back into their apartment, officials said.
Authorities were called to Pembrook Apartments around 9:36 p.m. and found Gamble suffering from a gunshot wound to the upper torso. He was transported to Columbus Midtown Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead of a gunshot wound to the back later that night at 10:19 p.m.
Police said they "responded" to the Andre Dixon's apartment at 6401 Flat Rock road to speak with his wife. They found the defendant inside and questioned him about the incident.
"When asked about the incident, the defendant stated that he wanted to talk to his attorney first," Dahnke said.
Police conducted an interview with the Gamble's daughters the week following the shooting, and showed them photo line-up showing six individuals, including Andre Dixon. They identified the defendant as the man who got involved into a verbal and physical altercation with their father moments before the fatal shooting, according to police.
Andre Dixon was taken into custody on Aug. 3 on simple battery warrant stemming from the incident. Police said they seized his phone and obtained a search warrant for it.
"Results of the forensic examination showed the defendant conducted online research, specifically on 'accessory to a crime,' a Georgia Supreme Court case and an 1991 incident, which occurred in Chicago, Illinois."
Police said they determined that Andre Dixon was a "party to the crime," and issued a murder warrant for his arrest in January. He was taken into custody outside of his home Feb. 3 at 7:40 p.m.
Jackson asked Dahnke why the murder warrant wasn't signed until January.
"We had two actors in this, and we wanted to evoke probable cause of both actors before we obtained warrants," the detective testified.
Wanted on a murder warrant, Jeremy Dixon of Columbus is a 5-foot-7 tall black man who weighs 167 pounds. Police said the 27-year-old suspect is considered armed and dangerous and anyone who has any information concerning his whereabouts should call 9-1-1 or Dahnke at 706-225-4296.
— Sarah is a crime & safety reporter at The Ledger-Enquirer. You can contact her on Twitter at @SarahR_92.