AUSTIN (KXAN) — A jury found De’Ondre White guilty of the murder of Douglas Kantor in the incident now referred to as the Sixth Street mass shooting.
Sentencing for White will occur Thursday morning.
White is accused of firing at least eight times into a large crowd, killing Kantor, an innocent bystander, in June 2021.
“I was just scared…I didn’t want to go to jail,” De’Ondre White, on trial for murder told a courtroom on Wednesday, in response to being dishonest with police and fleeing a murder scene.
Kantor was in town celebrating his recent grad school graduation.
White took the stand as the final witness in a two-week trial on Wednesday. He appeared nervous, but eager to tell his side of the story in his own words.
He admitted to trying to get away with firing into the crowd, even fleeing the scene and hiding his gun and phone as a SWAT team showed up to arrest him after the shooting in 2021.
That night on Sixth Street
White testified he went to Sixth Street that night with friends to hang out.
However, White maintains he was mixed up with a person who had “beef” with people from “Stretch Gang,” a group known for violence in Killeen, according to White.
He said the two guys in his group, who he wasn’t close to, seemed to have some issues with those gang members.
He testified one wearing a ski mask approached them and appeared to be pulling out his gun, ready to shoot.
That is a different account than what other witnesses have testified during this trial though.
“I was just trying to shoot at a downward position, I wasn’t trying to shoot in the center in…My sole focus was just on the dude with the ski mask…because he was the one who was pulling out a gun,” White said.
After the shooting
Texts were deleted, White wiped his phone, cut his dreads and dyed his hair and hid evidence, according to prosecutors.
White said he was nervous and scared when he realized someone had died as a result of the shooting. “I was hoping that it wasn’t true,” he said. “I didn’t want to hurt nobody else, I was just trying to get them away.”
White lied to the lead detective in the case about what really happened two years ago and admits to that. His decision to take the stand, testifying in his own defense on Wednesday came down to this: “Everybody, the victim’s family, deserves to hear the truth,” White told the court.
“Would you agree your actions that night were reckless, and unreasonable?,” prosecutors asked White while on the stand.
“I wouldn’t say that,” White responded.
White said he didn’t realize anyone had dropped to the ground after he fired shots. He told the court he stopped shooting when he thought there was no longer a threat, and ran away.
White was repeatedly questioned on why he didn’t immediately come clean about what he says is the truth. He was also asked, “You don’t think it’s a little too late to tell your side?”
“If I could rewind time…but we can’t,” White responded.
Who is De’Ondre White?
White graduated from Ellison High School in a suburban area a year before the 2021 Sixth Street mass shooting, according to this testimony.
White said he lived with his great aunt, and attended the Anderson Chapel Methodist Church in Killeen.
After graduation, White said he moved to Houston temporarily, where he was trying to get into welding school.
“I was [still trying to figure out my] plan for life in 2021,” White testified.
White said he eventually moved back to Killeen, where he was no stranger to violence and loss.
White’s attorneys revealed he lost two friends to gun violence, which led to his want to carry a firearm to protect himself at all times.
“I just wanted to make it home,” White said. “That’s the worst feeling, not knowing…I always had a gun on me…just to be safe.”
The state zeroed in on conflicting witness testimony. Prosecutors said White said all but two witnesses were dishonest about how things escalated before the shooting, many testifying no one tried to pull a gun before White fired shots.
Prosecutors also compelled witnesses to recognize White was illegally carrying a gun on Sixth Street that night, and was also underage.
White’s defense ended by reminding jurors of testimony from people who were with White that night, saying they believed he saved their lives.
Defense attorneys also noted, based off video evidence, the group White fired at “triangulated” he and his friends, making White feel like they were threatening them.