Teenager faces attempted murder charge
A teenager has been charged with attempted murder in connection with a shooting incident Monday night in northeast Union City.
The Messenger has confirmed through independent sources that Kurtis Smith, 16, was arrested Wednesday.
His name was not disclosed by Union City police, nor was it confirmed by police, because he is a juvenile and police are bound by state law in not disclosing information involving juveniles. However, it is The Messenger’s policy to disclose the names of juveniles charged with felony offenses, particularly those involving weapons, and there are some exemptions under the statutes, according to the Tennessee Press Association’s legal source.
This morning, Union City Police Department investigator Chris Cummings reported only that a juvenile was arrested Wednesday on the single charge of attempted first-degree murder. He said the arrest came as the result of police investigation as well as partly from information provided through Crime Stoppers, with a suspect being identified by the shooting victim.
He said the incident apparently stemmed from a water balloon fight and an ensuing altercation that escalated.
Cummings emphatically stated that he could not confirm or deny the alleged involvement of any particular suspect and he did not provide any name to The Messenger. The case is being handled through Obion County Juvenile Court, which is also prohibited from providing any information.
The shooting incident allegedly occurred late Monday night, when Union City police received a report of gunshots fired in the area of Melrose and College streets. Investigation by police revealed that a black man allegedly walked up and pointed a gun at Willie R. Hagler, 28, of Union City, shooting out the rear driver’s side window of the vehicle Hagler was driving at the time, according to a Union City Police Department offense report.
As Hagler attempted to leave by driving from the scene, the suspect allegedly shot another round into the vehicle, with the shot going through the rear window.
The passenger side front seat of the car was occupied by Hagler’s cousin, 25-year-old Lamont Smith of Hickman, Ky., at the time of the incident, police reported Tuesday.
No injuries were reported in the incident.
Published in The Messenger 5.22.08
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