SOUTHAVEN, Miss. — Emotional testimony was underway Tuesday in the case of Martez Abram, the accused gunman in the fatal Walmart shooting that left two people dead in Southaven in 2019.
Two Walmart employees, 38-year-old Brandon Gales and 40-year-old Anthony Brown, were killed that day.
On the first day of testimony in the trial of Martez Abram, prosecuting and defense attorneys clashed over whether he had planned the shooting rampage days in advance.
“He planned for three days. He arrived at the Walmart on July 30, at 6:38 a.m. The evidence will show that the defendant executed Anthony Brown in the parking lot with one shot killed in the parking lot and then went inside and hunted down and killed Brandon Gates,” said DeSoto County District Attorney Robert Morris.
“This incident didn’t start three days earlier. You’ll hear about a person that was wedded to that job, that became embedded in that job, that became his life. You’ll hear he was a good employee. He was ‘the’ employee,” said John Keith Perry, Abram’s defense attorney.
Kathy Caston, a Walmart worker, recalled the moment she was with Anthony Brown after he was shot.
“He (Anthony Brown) was laying on the ground with his eyes open (cries) puddle of blood and I ran up to him and kneeled down and looked at him and said please say K.C. (Kathy Caston) one more time,” she said.
Caston told the court Abram approached her seconds later.
“As I was bowing down on my knees telling Anthony bye, Martez came around the corner and said you’re next,” she said.
Other workers like Carl Whiteside said they heard the gunshots and saw Abram inside the store.
“After he did this, he went down another aisle and I didn’t see him at this point, and when I realized something was going wrong when I started hearing some shots. I started hearing sounds,” he said.
Shortly after arriving in the Walmart parking lot, Officer Brandon Billingsley told the court he was shot.
“I parked my vehicle and got out of my vehicle. Once I got out my vehicle, I heard gunshots, and I felt the pressure of the bullet hit my back and I blacked out for about two seconds cause I realized I had been shot,” Billingsley said.
Testimony in the Martez Abram case is expected to resume Wednesday morning.