Editor’s Note: The above video is KXAN’s previous coverage of the trial.
AUSTIN (KXAN) – The trial of Sixth Street mass shooting suspect De’ondre White continued Thursday 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.
APD Detective Called
Austin Police Detective Danny Hernandez has been one of the lead detectives in the Sixth Street mass shooting investigation. He said his work on the case started in the early morning of June 12, when he went to the hospital to interview victims injured in the shooting.
One man, Douglas John Kantor, 25, died two days after the event from “complications” from gunshot wounds, which transitioned the investigation from one of aggravated assault to a homicide. White is accused of firing a Glock semiautomatic pistol into a crowd, where it is alleged two bullets hit Kantor.
Hernandez testified in court that, through investigative work, he and other APD detectives were able to determine the people involved in the shooting. He said once they were identified, it was “extremely difficult to have productive conversations with the witnesses or get information from anyone involved,” he told the court.
“The loyalty to their friends was paramount to them,” he continued.
Two “rival” groups comprised of teenagers and young adults traveled from Killeen to Austin on the night of Friday, June 11, 2021, and went to Sixth Street. Hernandez said that none of the people involved were documented gang members.
Further, he said the groups were not formally documented “criminal gangs” but local cliques or “micro-gangs,” which, generally, have become “increasingly common,” Hernandez continued.
One group was comprised of three people: Mahkalen and Majyran Jackson, who are brothers, and Tyseshawn Degrate, who was 15 at the time.
Hernandez said the other group was called the 513 group or “gang,” which included White, Jeremiah Tabb, who was indicted in late 2021 on a tampering with evidence charge – a third-degree felony, and four others.
“When we were going through [Tabb’s] Instagram account, we saw messages related to him trying to sell a Glock pistol,” Hernandez said. A member of the 513 group, Carlos Latimer, also told the court Thursday that Tabb was trying to sell the weapon involved in the incident.
Several Killeen Police Department officers were called to testify in court today to discuss the firearms obtained at the Killeen home where White was staying. The owner of that home, Dennis Hudson, also testified Thursday, saying none of the obtained firearms were his.
White initially did not comply when officers came to arrest him. It was only after an armored SWAT vehicle was called and approached the home, that White agreed to surrender himself.
More Witnesses Called
Nakera Hulett, who is friends with White and Tabb, testified Thursday. Hulett was called to testify before lunch Thursday, but because she said that she “did not know” or “did not remember” many of the events of that night when questioned, she was asked to review her interview with APD from 2021 and return in the afternoon.
Since Hultett was not being cooperative, the judge granted attorneys the ability to ask leading questions — attorneys are only able to do this when it is difficult to get a testimony and the witness is “hostile.”
The state has also accused White of changing his appearance following the shooting.
Hulett said she didn’t remember or know if White changed his appearance after the shooting, but the State attorneys brought forward group chat text messages where the friends talked about White changing his hair. Still, Hullet said she didn’t remember discussing White altering his hairstyle
A member of White and Hulett’s group chat sent a message saying someone died the night they went to Sixth Street – the night of the shooting. “Dem dreads gotta go, bro,” Hulett replied to the group.
Carlos Latimer, another member of White’s group, was called to testify late Thursday afternoon.
Latimer said that when the group got back to Killeen from Austin following the shooting, White had a Glock on him. Early that morning, White was checking news articles about the incident and seemed “nervous and s—-,” Latimer said.
He told the court that Tyeshawn Degrate, now 17, was showing, or brandishing, his weapon in a threatening way that night towards members of his group, though Degrate never removed his firearm from his waist, Latimer added.
Latimer said that he felt White was protecting his group but did not support how many rounds White released and that he could have “at least hit the person he had beef with,” Latimer said.