Published On: Wed, Jul 8th, 2015

Roosevelt Holmes charged with murder of Jay Headen

A Connecticut man, Roosevelt Holmes, the suspect in a shooting at a North End basketball tournament that left one man dead and three others wounded, will be charged with murder.

Holmes, 23, will be charged with homicide in connection to the  shooting death of James “Jay” Headen Jr., 41 of Hartford, said Brian Foley, deputy chief of the Hartford Police Department on Tuesday. Hartford men Justin Jones, 23, and Shawn Patterson, 24, both suffered non-life threatening gun shot wounds.

“Further forensic evidence lead us to the murder charge,” Foley said, praising the major crimes division.

Headen, an innocent bystander, was shot in the head on June 27 during a dispute at a basketball tournament at Rawson School. He died that evening at St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center.

Holmes, a convicted felon, was initially charged with criminal possession of a firearm, 1st-degree reckless endangerment, illegal discharge of a firearm and 1st-degree assault and held on $2.5 million bond.

James "Jay" Headen  photo courtesy of family

James “Jay” Headen photo courtesy of family

Foley said Tuesday that Holmes’ bond was increased to $2.5 million. His next scheduled court appearance is July 13. He remains in custody.

Police said that Holmes, who was not a participant in the tournament became involved in a dispute. Numerous shots were fired as the dispute escalated and Headen, who Foley described as an “innocent bystander,” was shot in the head.

According to Holmes’ defense attorney Gerald Klein, his client claimed that the shooting was done in “self defense” after someone tapped him on the shoulder and snatched the Cartier sunglasses he was wearing.

Klein said Holmes ran and was shot in the leg and that his client had admitted to police that he fired his .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol four or five times at a man who was shooting at him.

In his statement to police Holmes also said he was robbed by a man holding a .380-claiber or 9mm semiautomatic pistol, but when police told him they only recovered .45-caliber shell casings at the scene, Holmes said that the robber may have had a revolver, which does not eject shell casings.

The gun Holmes fired was found in the car that took him to the hospital, according to police.


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- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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