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Fight over cellphone led to murder of 24-year-old man

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A fight over a stolen cell phone led to murder.

Daniel Brown, 24, was shot in the face after trying to get back a stolen phone. Officers received the 911 call Saturday morning, just after 8 a.m.

Officers say 27-year-old Noel Shakespeare shot Brown in the middle of this quiet southwest neighborhood near Jones and Russell.

Vernell Watts looked out his window never expecting to see a man get shot in cold blood. Right before the shots fired, he remembers seeing a fight between the two men.

"He got mad. He pulled out the gun. He shot the guy in the head," Watts said. "People were screaming and scrambling."

RELATED | POLICE: Confrontation over stolen cell phone led to deadly shooting near Jones and Russell

Homicide detectives say before the shooting, Brown's girlfriend, who is an escort, was beaten up by a group of prostitutes near The LINQ. One of the attackers took her cell phone.

Brown's girlfriend wanted her phone back, so she went to the home where she knew the attackers lived. Brown accompanied his girlfriend and demanded Shakespeare give the phone back.

Nate Wattier, who lives in this southwest neighborhood, said he never expected to witness such violence.

"It was a shock," he said. "It didn't register to me right away what was going on."

When police arrived, they found Brown laying on the street with a gunshot wound to the face. Officers say Brown died a couple of days later at UMC hospital.

Watts says it's hard to believe this happened over a phone.

"I think it's ridiculous that the dude who shot him will spend the rest of his life in prison and the other dude that got shot is dead now. All because of a cellphone. It is kind of ridiculous and easily avoidable", said Watts.

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