ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. – The Hinkley High School assistant principal and former University of Colorado football player killed in a shooting Sunday morning had met up with his neighbor to “box it out” over an argument regarding a parking spot, but was shot instead, according to police records.
The affidavit for the arrest of Marcus Johnson, 31, contains more details about what happened in the parking lot of Eaglecrest High School Sunday morning just after 9 a.m., when the shooting occurred that eventually left Anthony “T.J.” Cunningham dead.
Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputies were called to the parking lot of the school around 9:20 a.m. on a report that a man had been shot and was covered in blood.
As deputies were responding to the parking lot, Johnson called dispatch to report he had shot his neighbor, that he was inside his home in the 5000 block of Rome St. and that his handgun was inside his car outside his home.
The affidavit says that witnesses and neighbors told deputies that Johnson and Cunningham had been involved in an ongoing dispute about a parking space in front of their homes, which were across the street from one another.
According to the affidavit, Cunningham’s brother told deputies after the shooting that he and Cunningham had agreed to meet Johnson at the high school’s parking lot “so they could ‘box it out.’”
Once at the school, the brother said that Cunningham and Johnson started walking toward one another while yelling obscenities, at which point Johnson allegedly pulled out a gun and fired three shots – hitting Cunningham in the head and chest.
The brother told deputies that Cunningham was unarmed. Cunningham was taken to Parker Adventist Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on Monday.
“It’s just a shock. I am having a hard time believing it. He would greet me as his big brother and tell me that over the years. He told me how he was certainly inspired to go to CU after watching our teams at that time,” Mike Pritchard, who played for CU and attended the Seahawks’ training camp with Cunningham, told Denver7 on Monday.
Johnson made his first court appearance Tuesday in Arapahoe County on an arrest charge of first-degree murder after deliberation. He is being held without bond pending his next hearing on Feb. 22, where he is expected to be formally charged.