WACO- A Waco man is behind bars charged with murder after an argument over a parked car turned into a gunfight.
Anthony Christopher Johnson, 42, was booked in to the McLennan County Jail early Thursday morning.
According to Waco Police Sgt. Patrick Swanton, Johnson told detectives he went to visit his girlfriend Wednesday night at a home in the 1000 block of Preston Street. That's where he got into an argument with Richard Wendell Watson, 54, who had reportedly parked his truck in front of the home.
"About ten or fifteen minutes later, Mr. Watson came back on a bicycle," said Sgt. Patrick Swanton. "They got into another exchange of words, at which point the two both had weapons and they began firing at each other."
Watson was hit several times. He rode away from the home on his bike before collapsing in the street just a block away.
Police responded to 1018 Preston Street around 9:15 p.m. Wednesday after getting a call about shots being fired. Shortly afterward, they received another call about a man lying in the street nearby.
Officers arrived at the scene and found Richard Wendell Watson's body in the middle of Davis Street. Sgt. Patrick Swanton said Watson suffered several gunshot wounds to his upper torso.
Will Miller lives nearby and was one of the first to come across Watson's body. He tried to console Watson as they waited for an ambulance.
"He didn't suffer. He didn't suffer one minute. He didn't groan one minute," said Miller.
Miller said Watson tried to say something, but he couldn't make out his words.
"[I told him] just be quiet. And I got my rag out there and tried to clean his face off. He was sweating and blood was in his eyes," Miller said.
Minutes later, an ambulance arrived and rushed Watson to Hillcrest Baptist Medical Center. Justice of the Peace Billy Martin later pronounced him dead just after 10:00 p.m. Watson's body has since been sent to Dallas for an autopsy.
According to public records, Richard Wendell Watson has a criminal history of his own. He was convicted of murder in 1988 and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. He served just under five years before he was released on parole. He also had a prior conviction of aggravated assault and assault of a family member.
Watson's family members placed flowers on either side of Davis Street Thursday morning. Three of Watson's daughters spoke to News Channel 25 and said they're still struggling to understand the events that led up to the shooting.
"He probably did his bad stuff and his wrong stuff, but he didn't deserve this," said Watson's eldest daughter, Sheronica Patterson. "He was there for us when we needed him."
Waco Police are still investigating the shooting and are trying to piece together exactly what happened Wednesday night.
Tuesday, May 21 2013 9:54 AM EDT2013-05-21 13:54:05 GMT
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