A 19-year-old girl who was found dead at Hay Court Apartments in West Tuscaloosa Friday afternoon was fatally shot during a gun sale-turned-robbery, according to court documents filed Tuesday morning.
The victim has been identified as Shania Monae Robinson, who lived in the apartment complex.
Police have charged 18-year-old Derasmus Devalle Harris, Jr. with murder and second-degree robbery in the case and continue to seek a second suspect for the killing.
A sworn deposition made public Tuesday morning sheds light on the shooting, which apparently stemmed from Harris trying to steal back a gun he was selling to another man.
According to the documents, Harris and 19-year-old Jerrell Brown were in the back seat of Robinson’s car Friday afternoon when a third man who had arranged to buy a gun from Harris approached the vehicle.
The alleged robbery victim gave Harris his money and took the firearm, but almost immediately, Harris and Brown began struggling with the third man to regain possession of the gun and keep the cash.
The three men fought for control of the firearm briefly before the third man let go. According to the deposition, shortly after he released the weapon, he heard a gunshot ring out from inside the vehicle.
Investigators believe the bullet fired after the struggle struck Robinson, who was in the driver’s seat, in her head.
The robbery victim reported seeing either Harris or Brown throw the firearm out of the car and into the road from the backseat before they fled the area on foot.
Police and medical personnel flooded the scene shortly after 4 p.m. Friday. Despite attempts to save her life, Robinson was ultimately pronounced dead at the scene.
Investigators arrested Harris Saturday and charged him with felony murder and second-degree robbery. The 18-year-old is also a suspect in a February 2020 killing, when he and four other young men allegedly exchanged gunfire on Fosters Ferry Road, leading to the death of 22-year-old Darrieon Dees.
Harris was charged with murder for Dees’ death and three counts of attempted murder in connection with the shooting, but he was out on bond awaiting trial when Robinson was killed last Friday.
The search continues for Jerrell Jaysean Brown, 19, who will likely also face robbery and murder charges for Robinson’s death. Anyone with information on his whereabouts should contact the Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit at 205-464-8690.
Stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for more updates on this case as they become available.