A former teammate of a Canadian Football League player who was shot to death identified the accused as the man who pulled a gun outside a nightclub two years ago.
Nelson Lugela, 21, is on trial for second-degree murder in the death of Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks outside the Marquee Beer Market in September 2016.
The shooting happened after a scrap over a spilled drink inside the bar where Stamps players were celebrating a victory over Winnipeg earlier in the evening.
Jamal Nixon testified Friday that he was outside the bar talking with Hicks and two other players when they noticed another scuffle involving wide receiver Bakari Grant and a man in a white shirt.
“There’s a lot of shoving. There was a whole crowd there,” Nixon said.
“At that point … I hear a bottle break and then as the bottle breaks we can see the guy in the white shirt — he’s like in the front of the crowd. He ends up pulling a gun out.”
Nixon said the man was standing directly in front of them holding a handgun.
“We ended up all running and I ended up running into the actual parking lot,” Nixon said.
“I heard gunshots at the time, roughly around three or four.”
Nixon was asked by the prosecution if he could identify the shooter.
“Yes sir. That guy right over there,” he said as he looked at Lugela in the prisoner’s box.
Nixon said the suspect and two friends took off in an SUV and Nixon went back to where Hicks was lying behind a car.
He said another Stampeder player, Derek Dennis, was yelling out: “Mylan’s been hit! Mylan’s been hit!”
Nixon said he turned Hicks over and stayed with him until paramedics arrived.
A friend of Lugela’s testified the alleged shooter confessed to pulling the trigger shortly after shots rang out.
But in a lengthy cross-examination by the defence, Darwin Concepcion acknowledged that he was drunk on the night of the shooting and is still trying to piece together what happened.
Concepcion testified earlier that he was outside the bar at closing time when he heard a gunshot.
“I heard a bang in my left ear. Everybody started running and everybody was panicking. My ears were ringing,” Concepcion told defence lawyer Alain Hepner.
“I just turned around and Nelson looks at me and said, ‘Let’s go’ or something. ‘We gotta go.’ So we all hopped in the vehicle.”
Concepcion said it wasn’t until they left that he noticed Lugela was holding a gun in his hand and said, “I hit two shots. I don’t think he’s going to make it.”
Hepner challenged Concepcion, pointing out he never mentioned that Lugela admitted to shooting Hicks in his original interview with police three days after the shooting.
“You didn’t tell the detective this last phrase that you told us yesterday. Am I right?” asked Hepner.
“Yes,” Concepcion responded.
“What I’m suggesting to you is you only heard the phrase, ‘I don’t think he’s going to make it.’ That’s all you heard. Was that true? Is that all you heard? Am I right?
“I was drunk,” replied Concepcion.
Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press