David Langston, who was shot at Amberwood Place apartments on Thanksgiving Day 2017, took the witness stand Friday on the first day of the attempted murder trial against Gurth Bryan.
Bryan, of Kokomo, was arrested on a Level 1 felony charge of attempted murder and a Level 3 felony charge of aggravated battery in the shooting incident.
On Friday, Langston, told the jury that he was living at Amberwood Place at the time of the incident with Bryan’s ex-girlfriend Celia Jackson — who was five months pregnant with Langston’s child at the time.
Bryan and Jackson also have a child together, but Langston said the toddler wasn’t present at the time of the incident.
During his testimony, Langston told the court that Jackson and he were planning on visiting family in Chicago that Thanksgiving Day, and they were preparing to leave when Bryan called Jackson’s cell phone.
Langston answered her phone, he testified, and he said that Bryan was looking for his child, who was visiting relatives. Langston said he then hung up the phone and began taking luggage to Jackson’s Chevy Impala that was in a nearby parking lot.
As Langston was near the car, he told the court he saw Bryan pull into the exit drive of the apartment complex and speed toward him. Bryan got out of his vehicle, Langston said, and there was a confrontation in the parking lot between the two men.
Langston told Jackson to get into her vehicle, he testified, and Bryan allegedly pulled a firearm from his clothes. Langston said upon seeing that, he went to the passenger side of Jackson’s vehicle and got into the seat, telling Jackson to “pull off.”
Bryan then opened the driver’s side door, pushed Jackson forward toward the steering wheel and shot Langston two times in the back and once in the left shoulder, he told the court.
After the shooting incident, Bryan left the scene, and Langston said Jackson went to an area hospital.
Langston eventually spent a week in an Indianapolis hospital for treatment for his injuries, and he testified on Friday that he still has two bullets stuck inside his body and lacks full mobility in his left arm.
And when asked if he had any uncertainty that Bryan was the one who shot him, Langston simply answered, “No.”
According to police reports, no one but those directly involved in the incident saw what happened, but there were several who said they witnessed the aftermath of the event.
One of those individuals was Amberwood Place resident Brady Beck, who said he lived across the road from Jackson and Langston but did not personally know them.
Beck testified on Friday that he was inside his apartment that Thanksgiving Day and heard the gunshots. Describing the three to five gunshots as a “loud knocking” sound, Beck said he went on the balcony to see if he could see if anyone was outside.
It was then that Beck saw who police later identified as Langston flailing his arms near the Impala and was shouting that he had been shot.
Beck then went back into his apartment, locked the doors and called the police, he testified.
Several law enforcement officers were also called to testify on Friday, including Kokomo Police Department officer Chad Rodgers, who said he was called to St. Vincent Kokomo to process Jackson’s Impala that was located in the hospital’s parking lot.
The passenger side window of her vehicle was busted out when Rodgers arrived at the scene, and he also testified that police located an orange and blue coat with blood stains on it, as well as two spent shell casings.
Police also located a bullet fragment that had apparently been attached to Langston as hospital staff rolled him over in the hospital bed, Rodgers said.
Other testimony came from KPD Sgt. Roy Smith, who said he processed the scene at Amberwood Place and located a .40 caliber bullet on the ground and blood droppings near to where Jackson’s vehicle was parked.
If convicted of attempted murder, Bryan could face anywhere from 20-40 years in the Indiana Department of Correction, with the advisory sentence being 30 years.