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Shooting spree ends in one death
Dec 22, 2012 4:00 pm
A 21-year-old man was shot to death in an apparent shooting spree Thursday.
Lebanon police officers responded to reports of a shooting on South Maple Street at about 4 p.m. and arrived to find Desmine Watts, 21, of 1508 Inman Court, shot “at least twice in the face area and once in the torso,” according to Chief Scott Bowen.
Police believe the shooting happened on the front porch of 326 S. Maple St., but the victim was found a few buildings away.
“The victim actually fled down to the gravel lot down there beside Shorty’s Wrecker Service,” said Bowen. “We knew once we got there that he was in serious condition.”
Paramedics took Watts to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead soon after arrival.
Police believe Watts and Michael D. Starks, 27, 326 S. Maple St., had some sort of altercation on the front porch of Starks’ home, but they still have no clear motive, according to Bowen.
Police said Starks left the home immediately after the shooting, and they believe he was then involved in another shooting on South Greenwood Avenue.
According to Tyler Chandler of the Mt. Juliet police, a driver on Interstate 40 reported that someone fired a shot at their car on the interstate about 30 minutes after Watts was shot. Three adults and two children were in the car at the time. Police believe Watts fired that shot. No one was injured in the shooting on South Greenwood Avenue or the shooting on Interstate 40.
According to Bowen, the driver whose car was shot at on Interstate 40 said she knew Starks, but she did not know of any possible motive.
“We know that the [suspected] shooter has a lengthy criminal history, including a couple of cocaine possession charges and an aggravated assault conviction from a shooting up in Upton Heights in 2005,” said Bowen. “He was sentenced to six years in that one.”
Bowen said police have no reason to believe the shootings were related to drugs or gang activity, and the department plans to investigate possible federal charges against Starks, who turned himself in to authorities after a few hours after the shootings.
As a convicted felon with a history of drug charges, Starks could be charged federally on weapons charges.
Currently, he is charged with criminal homicide, five counts of aggravated assault and five counts of reckless endangerment.
Starks was held Friday in Wilson County Jail on $2 million bond.
“To me it’s just senseless,” said Bowen. “We’ve got this young man family without him now over just nothing.”