Surveillance video captured shooting of Jerry Tibbs Jr.; earlier confrontations may be related: reports

Crime Watch

William Blowheart Lee stands next to an attorney during his arraignment. File image

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The shooting death of a man in east Bakersfield may be related to confrontations the accused shooter had with members of the East Side Crips, according to court documents.

The alleged gunman, William Blowheart Lee, has pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the death of Jerry Tibbs Jr. the night of June 3.

The recently filed documents say Lee, 33, had been beaten by East Side Crips gang members a couple weeks before the shooting. A witness said Lee had gang connections himself.

Also, in an apparent separate incident, some East Side Crips filmed a confrontation with Lee that occurred inside a liquor store in which the person narrating the video says Lee urinated himself, according to the court filings.

The camera points toward Lee’s groin “and moisture could be seen in that area,” the documents say. The name of the person whose Facebook account had the video was redacted in the documents.

“The video makes several other disparaging comments toward William Lee and was posted on social media to publicly embarrass him,” a Bakersfield Police Department investigator wrote in the filings.

The video was posted on May 20 and as of June 5 had been shared 41 times and had 148 comments, most of them disparaging toward Lee and some of them calling for violence against him, the documents say.

Jerry Tibbs Jr.

Some witnesses interviewed by police believed those incidents led to Tibbs’ shooting. While Tibbs’ name is redacted from the documents, witnesses believed the 49-year-old was connected to the altercations with Lee.

Surveillance cameras captured the shooting in the 700 block of Kentucky Street.

According to the documents, the video shows a man later identified as Lee walking through a parking lot approaching a Kia SUV parked by a business where Tibbs worked. A woman gets out of the Kia and enters the business, then comes back outside within a minute with Tibbs following her.

The video shows Lee draw a gun from his waistband, move around the rear of the Kia and open fire on Tibbs, the documents say. Lee fires five shots as Tibbs retreats back into the business, according to the filings, then Lee runs north and out of view of the camera.

“After being shot, (Tibbs) is heard bellowing and advising that he has been shot,” an investigator wrote.

Tibbs was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He suffered a gunshot wound to the chest.

Lee was arrested two days later in the 1800 block of Union Avenue. Police said he was in possession of a 9mm handgun believed to be used in the killing.

Lee is held on $2 million bail and is next due in court July 24.

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