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Woman charged in parking ramp shooting says she didn't know victim

Woman charged in parking ramp shooting says she didn't know victim

From the 2018 year in review: Highs and lows of the past 12 months in the Madison area series

A woman who was charged Thursday with fatally shooting a man in a Downtown parking ramp early Sunday told police she didn’t know the man she had killed and was firing a shot only to scare a group of adversaries away from her and another person, a criminal complaint states.

Kenyairra I. Gadson, 21, of Madison, was charged Thursday with first-degree intentional homicide for the death of Steven Villegas, 21, who was shot on the Frances Street side of the State Street Campus Garage just before 2 a.m. Sunday.

But the complaint states that others told police that Gadson had been part of an incident the day before in which someone in her group of friends had said to “shoot that (expletive) with the dreads,” describing Villegas.

Gadson appeared in court where she was jailed on $100,000 bail, the same amount set during a court appearance on Tuesday.

The shooting happened as police were clearing State Street after the end of the annual Freakfest Halloween celebration, which drew tens of thousands of people Downtown.

According to the complaint:

Gadson told police after her arrest Sunday night that a few years ago her brother, identified elsewhere in the complaint as Raequon Allen, went to prison, and she found out that a person she called “Dino” had given incriminating information to police. Allen was convicted of several armed robberies and of shooting a teen in the face with a flare gun.

Gadson told police that she “exposed” Dino on Facebook as a snitch, and there has been animosity between them ever since.

Early Sunday, she said, she had arrived Downtown just before bar time and met a friend and her friend’s cousin. She was walking near the Red Shed bar on North Frances Street about 1:30 a.m. when she heard Dino talking about her as a “target.” She said Dino made eye contact with her and said, “Yeah, you know what time it is.”

Gadson said she just wanted to get to her friend’s car and leave.

By the time she got to the car, she said, others were already hitting her friend’s cousin, and Dino was moving toward her, so she grabbed a gun from the glove compartment and “fired off a shot to like, get them to move around, but I guess they say it ended up hitting somebody.”

Gadson told police she didn’t fire the gun in any particular direction, hadn’t intended to shoot anyone and didn’t see Villegas fall to the ground. She said she didn’t know Villegas and had never seen him before that night.

After firing the shot she got into the car with her friend’s cousin but then got out, leaving the gun inside. She took the magazine from the gun with her and put it in a trash can at the other end of the parking ramp. She then walked away toward State Street as police, some with rifles, converged on the parking ramp.

Police found the magazine later as they searched the ramp for evidence.

According to street video and statements from a parking attendant, Gadson arrived at the ramp’s Lake Street entrance about 1:40 a.m., and after leaving the ramp went back, followed by Villegas and about five others, who had been in front of the Red Shed. The ramp attendant said she saw someone from Gadson’s group get punched, and shortly after heard a loud pop and saw people running from the ramp.

The shooting wasn’t captured on city street cameras, and the attendant didn’t see it.

Villegas’ sister told police that he was headed to Freakfest that night and was going to meet up with some people. When she received news that he was dead she rushed to the hospital. She became angry as she talked to police, telling them she believed “Cream,” a rapper, had shot her brother. Nobody in her family knew Cream’s name, but police were later shown a screenshot of a black female rapper, also know as “Cream Yolo” and “KGKG” and were told that person had shot Villegas. Gadson, who told police her Facebook profile name is KGKG, was then identified as the suspect.

Villegas’ mother said she also had been told about a fight Downtown the day before between one group of people and Gadson and her friends. Someone in Gadson’s group said, “Shoot that (expletive) with the dreads, he was with them,” indicating Villegas.

She told police, though, that her son was not a troublemaker and had no enemies or grudges with anyone.

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