AUSTIN — Austin Police Chief David McKichan said a warrant has been issued for the arrest of a suspect in the shooting death of Tyesha Tahne Gills, 20, who died as a result of gunshot wounds Saturday, July 31.
Me'Darian Ledale McGruder, 27, of Austin, is facing a possible charge of second-degree murder. McGruder is being sought in connection with the shooting that occurred just before 2 a.m. Saturday at a home in the 100 block of 10th Street Northwest in Austin.
According to a statement of probable cause filed with the arrest warrant, Austin Police officers were dispatched to the residence at about 1:56 a.m. Sunday and advised that one person had been shot. When officers arrived they found a female witness, Witness A, at the scene. She was distraught after having found the victim on the floor with blood on her.
After officers initially began life-saving measures, those measures were taken over by Mayo Clinic Ambulance responders who had arrived on the scene. EMS eventually transported the victim to Mayo Clinic Health Systems-Austin where she was pronounced dead.
Meanwhile, APD officers noted a blue self-defense style taser that had blood on it in front of the couch near the area where the victim was located. They also located a single 9-mm shell casing in the living room just inside and to the left of the front door.
APD Det. Derek Ellis arrived at the scene and spoke with Witness A, who said she'd arrived home and found the victim on the ground with the gunshot wound. Witness A, being emotionally distraught, was unable to be interviewed right away and left with family or friends, the statement reads.
Meanwhile, Ellis applied for a search warrant, and a crime scene team from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrived, proceeding to conduct an initial walk-through of the scene with Ellis.
While law enforcement was still at the house, Witness A arrived again for an interview. She provided a more detailed statement, and she indicated the person who shot the victim was a male using the nickname "Solid" whose first name was likely "Medarian."
Witness A's friend showed a Facebook photo of the suspect to Witness A, and she identified the person in the photo as “Solid.”
Ellis recognized the suspect as McGruder.
Witness A stated she and the victim had been at the suspect's home the previous night. She and the victim left that home and returned to their own where they were laughing and "having a good time with (the suspect) and another friend," the statement read.
The victim was on the couch "zapping" her taser and playing with it, and the suspect took his gun out. Witness A then said that between the gun and the taser, she felt uncomfortable and got up to leave.
Witness A said she was standing in the living room when the suspect said, "Stop playing with me before I shoot you." According to the statement, Witness A said she thought the defendant was saying it as a joke. However, when the victim kept zapping the taser, the suspect said, "OK, you going to keep playing I’m going to pop your ass."
Witness A said she started walking away from them when she heard the taser activate followed by a gunshot, according to the probable cause statement.
Witness A stated she heard the victim say, "You just really shot me.” She then saw Victim A fall to the floor near the couch. The suspect did not say anything and left the apartment through the front door.
Witness A then called 911.
Witness A said the suspect's friend came to the scene after police had arrived and she felt intimidated by him. Witness A was scared that the friend was there to watch her and tell the suspect if she talked to police. Witness A indicated that was the reason she initially did not provide a detailed statement. Witness A believed that the defendant would retaliate towards her for talking to the police, the statement read.
Witness A said the suspect was wearing a black sweater and red and white Adidas pants. She described the handgun as a Glock with an extended magazine, the slide of the gun was light blue or gray, and he told her there were 31 or 32 bullets in the gun and that the ammo was silver and the tip of the bullet was red.
Witness A said she has seen the suspect with that gun before. She also said in the past she had touched that gun but she did not touch it on the night of the shooting, the statement read.
According to the statement provided with the warrant, attempts to locate the suspect have been unsuccessful. His whereabouts are unknown and an arrest warrant is necessary to bring him before the court.
"His current whereabouts are unknown," McKichan wrote in a statement to the media. "Anyone with information related to his whereabouts should contact the Austin Police Department or their local law enforcement agency."