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Man formally charged in Fitts homicide

By Wes Ferguson
Aug. 9, 2008 at 9:55 a.m.


A Longview man shot and killed another man in a brawl three weeks ago after confronting him for "snitching" to police, an arrest warrant says.

On Friday, Devetrick Tramel Johnson, 20, was formally charged with murder in the July 20 death of 29-year-old Jimmy Fitts .

The fight involved members of the drug-dealing "Davis Street" group, according to the warrant.

The warrant said Johnson accused Fitts of informing on Johnson's friend Dedric Mandell Thomas, 32, of Longview, who was indicted in June in Gregg County on a charge of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance.

During the argument, Fitts ' brother, Jerry Fitts , pushed Johnson, and Johnson pulled a chrome and black handgun from his waistband, waved it in the air and pointed it at Jerry Fitts , witnesses said. When he put the gun back in his pants, the Fitts brothers and another man attacked him, according to people who saw the fight shortly before 11 p.m. in a convenience store parking lot at Mobberly Avenue and Birdsong Street.

Witnesses saw Johnson shoot Jimmy Fitts during the brawl, the warrant said.

Officers were on patrol when they noticed a large crowd in the parking lot of the convenience store. They heard gunshots, and they found Jimmy Fitts and 29-year-old Arnaldo Scott of Longview, who had also been shot.

The two men were taken to a local hospital, where Fitts died. Scott was treated and released. Later that night, investigators learned Johnson was being treated for a gunshot wound at the same hospital.

The warrant doesn't say who shot Johnson, who was arrested about six hours after the shootings on charges of unlawfully carrying a weapon and probation violations. Johnson has been held in jail without bond since then.

According to the warrant, a witness said another man shot Scott. Jail records on Friday showed that man has not been arrested in the altercation.

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