An Atlanta-based attorney representing former Tulane basketball player Teshaun Hightower said Hightower’s brother, Jeffery, fired the gun that killed a 24-year-old man on April 8, and that Hightower’s brother shot the victim in self-defense.
Teshaun Hightower, the Green Wave’s leading scorer in the 2019-20 season, was arrested Saturday and charged with felony murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and battery following an investigation into a fatal shooting in Stockbridge, Georgia, earlier this month.
Hightower and his brother were being held without bond in the Henry County Jail on Monday.
According to an arrest warrant obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday, police have accused Teshaun Hightower of being the shooter when the group of six men confronted Devante Anthony Long in a breezeway. Long’s girlfriend allegedly saw Hightower with the gun and heard gunshots.
“(The woman) said Teshaun pulled out a turquoise and black handgun out of his pocket,” the warrant states, according to the AJC. “(She) ran into the apartment and hid behind the wall next to the door.”
Another suspect, Tyreek Farmer, was involved in a fistfight with Long on the morning of the shooting, the warrant states. Investigators said Farmer claimed he was pistol-whipped by Long and called several friends for help. Police said Hightower and the others arrived at the apartment complex a short time later.
“He’s innocent. He didn’t shoot anybody,” said Averick Walker, Teshaun Hightower’s attorney. “It’s sad that this detective sought to make him out to be a monster and he’s not. When it’s all said and done, it will come out in the wash that the person who did fire the gun shot the gun to protect Teshaun.
“Teshaun’s brother actually fired the weapon and fired in self-defense. The victim came out of the house with a gun in his hand and turned his weapon toward Teshaun to shoot him. That’s why the victim was shot himself.”
A Henry County Police incident report indicated the shooting occurred at an apartment complex just before 11 a.m. ET on April 8. Long was shot and later died at a hospital.
According to a Facebook post by the Henry County Police Department, Hightower is one of six men who were subjects in the homicide investigation. Five of the men were in custody on Monday. One man still hadn’t been arrested, according to jail records.
Walker told ESPN that Hightower and his brother had a right under Georgia law to defend themselves.
“These people have a right to stand your ground,” Walker said. “If somebody threatens you with a weapon, you have a right to stand your ground. The victim was called outside by his girlfriend, and he came out with a gun in his hand.”
Tulane announced Sunday afternoon that Hightower had been dismissed from the team following his arrest.
Hightower, a native of Lithonia, Georgia, transferred to Tulane last year after playing two seasons at Georgia. He announced April 18 that he was entering the NBA draft but still had one season of eligibility remaining.
Hightower, a 6-foot-5 junior at Tulane last season, averaged 15.9 points and 4.6 rebounds in his only season with the Green Wave. He played 29 games in both the previous two seasons with the Bulldogs, averaging 5.1 points and 1.7 rebounds from 2017 to 2019.