MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – “I love you, man.” Those were some of the last words the victim of a deadly Murfreesboro shooting told a former friend as he stood over him with a gun, firing several times.
The shooting of Jesse Buford, 23, was captured on video. It happened during a violent three-week period where several victims were shot and killed in Murfreesboro near Middle Tennessee State University’s campus.
Wednesday afternoon, suspect Lammorris Jones appeared in court for his preliminary hearing while the victim’s family looked on.
They were seated in the back row of the courtroom and Buford’s mother couldn’t hold back the tears as she listened to how her son was gunned down for no apparent reason.
“It’s hard man,” said Buford’s father, Ernest Mason. “It’s hard.”
It was revealed in court that Jones and Buford used to be good friends, even roommates at one point, but somewhere the relationship went south.
“They had a falling out,” Det. Steven Abbott testified in court. “I believe Mr. Jones referred to the relationship with Mr. Buford as ‘toxic.’”
Jones said they went their separate ways and claims that prior to the shooting, Buford showed up at his apartment in the middle of the night and threatened him, saying he would be raising his children.
On May 4, Jones was dropping off a woman at the Student Quarters Apartments and saw Buford. Without warning, he ran up to him and started shooting.
Surveillance video from the complex shows the two men running, and then Buford falling. Jones is seen standing over him firing a gun.
“I asked him what did Mr. Buford say or what was his reaction, and Mr. Jones indicated to me that Mr. Buford didn’t probably see or hear him or anything until he fired the first shot,” Det. Abbott said in court.
The video also shows Buford getting up and limping before later collapsing. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
“He’s a coward,” his father said, referring to Jones. “He was just a coward; that’s all he was, a coward.”
Jones was arrested two days later in Jackson, Tennessee. According to police, he took the murder weapon to Senatobia, Mississippi, and left it with his cousin to get rid of it.
Buford’s family said the 23-year-old had his whole life ahead of him.
“He was a nice, outgoing child,” Mason told News 2. “He was going to college. He had his bachelor’s degree [and was] going for his masters.”
After hearing all the evidence presented in court, Judge Barry Tidwell found enough probable cause to send this case to the Rutherford County Grand Jury.
Jones was already on probation after a March arrest for theft. Now he’s facing homicide charges.