AUSTIN (KXAN) — The trial of Sixth Street mass shooting suspect De’ondre White continued Wednesday in Austin.
White, 21, is charged with one count of murder and 14 counts of aggravated assault. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday in court.
On June 12, 2021, 25-year-old Douglas Kantor was killed and more than a dozen others were injured in a mass shooting on Sixth Street. White is accused of firing into a crowd after a confrontation with a group of people.
On Wednesday, the court heard from a Travis County deputy medical examiner and an Austin Police detective in the digital forensics unit about the case. Shooting witnesses also took the stand.
The autopsy of Douglas Kantor
The first witness Wednesday was Dr. Vickie Willoughby, a Travis County deputy medical examiner. She performed the review of Kantor’s autopsy in June 2021.
Willoughby said an external examination found two gunshot wound pathways. One was through the torso, and a second was on the right forearm. Photos from the autopsy were shown in court.
She said an internal examination found the torso gunshot wound went through the diaphragm, injuring the pancreas, stomach and other areas. The forearm gunshot wound went “superficially through the arm,” Willoughby said.
Kantor’s cause of death was “complications of a gunshot wound.” It was not labeled as a gunshot wound because he lived for about a day and a half after the shooting. He was hospitalized during this time.
Three people, who were part of a group that traveled from Killeen to Sixth Street in Austin on the night of June 11-12, 2021, testified in court Wednesday.
Police believe White opened fire into crowds following some kind of confrontation between two groups. Court records said White and a group of friends drove to Sixth Street from Killeen when they encountered a rival group of men they knew from Killeen.
Mahkalen Jackson, 20, said when his group got to Austin, they saw another group from Killeen. One of his friends and someone from the other group “had some words.” He said he felt like they wanted to fight.
Jackson said his friend, Tyeshawn Degrate, 17, brought a gun to Austin and remembers seeing a male, who he identified as “JT,” in the other group with a gun. Then, he heard “shots ringing off.”
“A whole bunch of shots went off,” he said, estimating 10 shots.
Jackson said everyone was running after the shots, and he was knocked down. Then, he realized he and someone else in his group were shot. His friend went to the hospital that night, but he did not go to the hospital for his leg wound until the next day because he was worried about his probation condition and did not want to be linked to a minor with a gun.
He said he spoke to police at the hospital and said he originally lied to police about who he was with. He said he told police the shooter was one person, but after seeing a photo of De’ondre White, he said the shooter was a different person.
He said he never saw his friend, Tyshawn Degrate, who was carrying a gun pull the gun out or shoot. He also said his friend had three bullets in the magazine earlier, but he later saw the gun had no bullets.
Degrate also took the stand Wednesday and gave some conflicting statements to Jackson. He said he was carrying a gun with bullets, and said he never shot the gun.
Degrate said the gun in his pants was showing, so he pulled his pants up and shirt down. He was about four feet away from someone in the other Killeen group when someone behind him began shooting. In court, he pointed and identified the shooter as De’ondre White.
He heard “a lot” of shots and began running and ducking. He said his gun fell out of his pants while he was running away. He said he never shot his gun. Degrate said he was not shot, but there were two bullet holes in his jacket. He said two of his friends were shot.
Degrate said he went to a friend’s house after. He said SWAT later came to the house. He was arrested, but this charge was later dropped. At the time, police said new witness statements and evidence led to changes in the case.
The last witness of the day was Terranesha Thomas, 25, who traveled with Degrate, Jackson and others from Killeen on the night of the shooting. She was not injured, but she said she took her friend Tyeshawn to the hospital after the shooting.
Thomas and Jackson, who are siblings, said they initially lied to police about who they were with. Thomas said she was scared, but she said she later told their actual accounts of the shooting to police.
Cell phone data
Austin Police Department Detective Daniel Portnoy, a digital forensic examiner, said he received five devices in the case. This includes two cell phones, which were discussed in court Wednesday.
Portnoy explained how data was extracted from the devices. There was information pulled from the cell phones as well as iCloud data.
Texts, photos or other artifacts pulled from the phones were not shown in court Wednesday.