Cortez Ananias Williams provides police with an account of the Aug. 26 shooting at SuperAmerica on West Broadway
At approximately 11:15 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, police were dispatched to the SuperAmerica gas station in the 5300 block of West Broadway in Crystal, after a suspect reportedly shot a man. The victim, who has been identified as 18-year-old HaeVeon Martese Chavez Wesley, died from the gunshot wound to the chest.
Police have arrested 17-year-old Cortez Ananias Williams and charged him with second degree manslaughter in Wesley’s death.
Wesley had graduated from Patrick Henry High School in June and was a running back on the school’s football team. He had been named the 2016 MVP.
According to the latest police report, Williams turned himself in to police Aug. 28. He reported to investigators that he and Wesley had met other friends at the SuperAmerica preceding the incident. Both parties were in possession of handguns, including a .22 and .45 caliber handgun. Williams said he and the victim decided to exchange guns, during which time Williams allegedly shot Wesley with the .22 caliber handgun. Williams claimed the shooting was an accident, describing handing the weapon to Wesley with the barrel facing toward the victim, who grabbed the barrel when the gun went off. Williams said the weapon hadn’t been “maintained” properly, which enabled it to fire easily.
Williams told investigators that he and Wesley were drunk. He said that earlier in the night, while traveling to the gas station in a vehicle driven by a friend, Wesley had accidentally discharged the .22 caliber gun. According to Williams, Wesley at first thought he had shot himself, but realized he hadn’t been struck.
Williams said Wesley had brought the two guns at his request because they were going to a hotel. After the fatal shooting at the SuperAmerica, Williams asked a friend to drive to the hospital, while another friend who witnessed the incident followed. Because he is on juvenile probation for another weapons offense, he reportedly removed the guns from the vehicle because he is not supposed to be around guns, he told investigators. Further investigation reportedly revealed an inconsistency in the concealment story, but no details have been released pertaining to this inconsistency because the investigation is incomplete.
Williams admitted to being shot last fall. He said he is involved in the YNT/Freeshots gang, as was Wesley, according to law enforcement. He received programming about gang issues and weapons as a part of his probation, police said.
The weapons have not yet been recovered, but the investigation will be ongoing.
This story was updated at 4:24 p.m. to include further information about the victim of the shooting.