Thursday, April 20, 2017 – 10:00 p.m.
Jeremy Willis approached Deputy Watson at the scene, claiming to be an eyewitness to the incident. He appeared to be intoxicated, so he was asked to wait in the backseat of a patrol car until detectives could speak to him.
Detectives Armstrong and Murphy interviewed him in the Faith and Glory Community Church’s main parking lot.
- Detective T. Armstrong
- Detective S. Murphy
- Jeremy Willis
Detective Murphy: For the record, please state your name and address.
Jeremy Willis: My name is Jeremy Willis, and I live at 3001 Old Taylor Rd, Unit 21C.
Detective Murphy: How much have you had to drink this evening, Mr. Willis?
Jeremy Willis: Not enough.
Detective Armstrong: Meaning what, Mr. Willis? This is serious. A man is dead. Do you have anything to offer other than wisecracks?
Jeremy Willis: I’m sorry, sir. I’m not being a smart ass. I stayed here because I saw it. I need more to drink because I saw it.
Detective Armstrong: What did you see?
Jeremy Willis: I saw the shooter. Over in the trees. Then I saw the guy fall down in the parking lot.
Detective Armstrong: Anything more specific?
Jeremy Willis: I noticed movement in the trees across the street from where I was sitting. Then I saw the guy come out of the church. Then he fell. Then I saw someone running through the trees at the back of the church.
Detective Murphy: Where were you when you saw this?
Jeremy Willis: Over there across South 10th.
Detective Armstrong: Were you in the bar?
Jeremy Willis: I was outside on the patio. Yeah.
Detective Murphy: When was this?
Jeremy Willis: Just, like an hour, hour and a half ago.
Detective Murphy: So it was dark. How could you see what was going on across the street?
Jeremy Willis: Well, there are the parking lot lights. Then when he came out the door of the church, a light came on. Must’ve been a motion detector light. It caught my attention.
Detective Armstrong: And how was the person in the trees visible to you?
Jeremy Willis: I couldn’t see much at first. I thought it was a stray dog, maybe. Then a car passed, and in the light from the headlights, I saw that it was a person. Didn’t think much more about it until that guy came out the door and then collapsed.
Detective Murphy: How long between the time you noticed the person in the trees and the time you saw the man exiting the building?
Jeremy Willis: Oh, not long. Less than five minutes?
Detective Murphy: That didn’t seem strange to you? A person waiting in the trees?
Jeremy Willis: Well, no, not at first. Kids hang out over there sometimes. Smoke cigarettes. Stuff like that. But when that guy collapsed, the shooter jumped up and hightailed it.
Detective Armstrong: Could you see whether or not the shooter was male or female?
Jeremy Willis: Female. Tall, maybe six feet. Ran like a girl.
Detective Murphy: I see. And how does a girl run, Mr. Willis?
Jeremy Willis: Well, kind of … I don’t know ... awkward. Like a girl.
Detective Murphy: Did you notice anything else about what this person looked like?
Jeremy Willis: Slender build. Wearing a dark jacket with white sleeves, it looked like. From what I could see.
Detective Murphy: So other than running awkwardly, did you see anything else that would indicate whether the shooter was male or female?
Jeremy Willis: I know a woman when I see one.
Detective Armstrong: You were standing outside on the sidewalk when you saw all this?
Jeremy Willis: No, sir. I was sitting in the patio area of the bar.
Detective Armstrong: Mr. Willis, we’d like to get samples of your fingerprints and DNA for elimination purposes. We have someone here who can take care of that now if that’s OK?
Jeremy Willis: Yes, sir. I’ll do whatever you need.
Detective Murphy: Thank you for your cooperation, Mr. Willis. That's all we’ll need for now. If you recall anything else, please contact us.
Jeremy Willis: Yes, ma’am. Thank you.
Interview ends – 10:11 p.m.