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Arrest made in Downtown club slaying

Arrest Made In Downtown Club Slaying

29-year-old Dontae Davis(Photo: IMPD)

When detectives arrived, it was evident there had been some sort of fight. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police detectives who went to the scene outside Bu Da Lounge at 148 E. Market St. in the early hours of Jan. 29[1] said there were high heels and earrings in the roadway, according to court documents. Officers had been called to the club at approximately 3 a.m. on reports of a person shot. They’d found a man, later identified as 31-year-old Wilbur Morton, in the street with a gunshot wound to the chest. He died just over half an hour later at Eskenazi Hospital.

Witnesses told police a man named “Lamar” later identified as 29-year-old Dontae Davis had retrieved a gun from his car during the altercation and fired a single shot, striking Morton. IMPD announced Tuesday that officers had arrested Davis in connection with his role in the fatal shooting, according to a news release. He now faces charges of murder and, due to a previous conviction of reckless homicide, a felony charge of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. A security guard at the club told police they had seen several women fighting outside the club that night and saw a man run by the front door of the club. The security guard said he remembered hearing an onlooker yell, “He’s got a gun!”

The security guard shut the door to the club in an attempt to keep people from coming or going, according to court documents. Then they heard a single gunshot.

Detectives were unable to obtain security camera footage, but did obtain a recording of a Facebook Live video[2] that depicted the shooting. Police said the video shows a man, later identified as Davis, pull what appeared to be a chrome firearm from his waist. He ran out of view before the gunshot rang out. Detectives then found another video, also recorded on Facebook Live, of several women fighting before the shooting, according to court documents. In that video, police said Morton, the victim, approached Davis before the camera panned to another view. Moments later, the camera returned to the two men, police said, and Davis can be seen stumbling backward and looking west down Market Street. Twenty seconds later, a gunshot.

Detectives spoke to another witness, a friend of Morton’s, who said they were at the lounge that night to celebrate Morton’s birthday, according to court documents. Some of the women who were with them began fighting outside the club, they said, when they saw Davis approach one of the women and hit her. The witness told police Morton punched Davis for hitting the woman. After that, Davis went to a nearby car and got a handgun. The witness told police they remembered another one of their friends issuing a warning to Morton to watch his back as Davis went to the car.

The witness remembered Morton replying, “I am watching my back.”

As Morton and his friends began walking westbound on Market Street, the witness told police they saw Davis shoot Morton in the back. An autopsy revealed Morton had a single gunshot wound that entered the left side of his chest and exited the left side of his back, according to court documents. Several witnesses corroborated the confrontation between the two men, according to court documents, but not all saw the shooting. Multiple witnesses also positively identified Davis from a photo lineup. Detectives were also able to identify Davis through the Facebook Live videos and by matching his Bureau of Motor Vehicles photo.

Davis has been scheduled to appear for an initial hearing Wednesday morning, according to online court records.

Call IndyStar reporter Holly Hays at (317) 444-6156. Follow her on Twitter: @hollyvhays[3].

Read or Share this story: http://indy.st/2lLTIUQ

References

  1. ^ Bu Da Lounge at 148 E. Market St. in the early hours of Jan. 29 (www.indystar.com)
  2. ^ a recording of a Facebook Live video (www.indystar.com)
  3. ^ @hollyvhays (twitter.com)

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