Emotions high during accused shooter's court appearance - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Emotions high during accused shooter's court appearance

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Heavy emotions run through Judge Clarence Shattuck's courtroom Tuesday as Courtney Birt makes an appearance.

A week ago police arrested Birt after they say he shot and killed 16-year-old Lamunte Williams near Howard High School in cold blood.

Witnesses say this began with trouble between Williams and Birt's girlfriend.

A woman who identified herself as Williams' aunt says he was not a trouble maker.

Tonya Brown says, "He liked to play with you, he likes to kid with you. That's who he was. He didn't get in trouble like that."

Three teenagers told the judge they were in the abandoned house near the high school when the shooting happened.

It was a place several students would go when they skipped school.

One girl told detectives says she begged Birt not to shoot Williams, even tried to take the gun from his hands when she saw it.

Birt then ran outside and she heard shots.

Officer Karl Fields III with the Chattanooga Police Department says, "She heard someone knocking on the door after she saw Courtney Birt shoot Mr. Williams."

A boy says he believes someone in the house gave up Williams' hiding spot by contacting Birt.

Judge Shattuck says if everyone was in school Williams might still be alive and a family wouldn't be grieving.

"This is not a good commentary. This is not a good commentary on our area."

Birt remains in the Hamilton County Jail on homicide charges.


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