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Steven Adams in court

Steven E. Adams, left, appears in court Wednesday with his attorney, Joshua Kutnick.

Thomas Leonard, who was killed by gunfire in Sun Prairie early Sunday, fired first at a man who had been out with Leonard’s longtime girlfriend, according to a search warrant filed Wednesday.

That man, Steven E. Adams, then fired back and killed Leonard, the search warrant states.

Tamicka Featherstone, who was Leonard’s girlfriend, told police that Leonard had approached the SUV driven by Steven E. Adams, 34, of Cottage Grove, and fired one shot before Adams returned fire and killed Leonard early Sunday outside a Sun Prairie apartment building, according to the search warrant, filed in Dane County Circuit Court.

An autopsy found that Leonard, 33, of Marshall, died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Adams, who was arrested Monday on a tentative charge of firearm possession by a felon, appeared in court Wednesday with his attorney, Joshua Kutnick, and was released from the Dane County Jail on a signature bond agreed to by Kutnick and Assistant District Attorney Mauricio Cardona.

Cardona said that a homicide charge was still being investigated. Adams was ordered to return to court on Aug. 3.

According to the search warrant, Featherstone, who lived with Leonard and their two children, initially told police that she had driven to the apartment building at 425 S. Bird St. in Sun Prairie to visit her friend, Tiva Adams. As she walked in the parking lot, she saw Leonard walking, then heard gunshots and saw a flash in her periphery.

She said she hid in some trees, then found Leonard dead in the parking lot.

But later, the search warrant states, she told police a different story.

According to the search warrant:

Featherstone told police later that she was with Tiva Adams’ cousin, Steven Adams, on Saturday night into Sunday. She said she has known Steven Adams for about 10 years, and said that Leonard knew him, too. She said they went to a movie in Sun Prairie, then drove to Madison looking for a bar, then they drove back to Tiva Adams’ home.

When they arrived, Featherstone told police, Leonard approached the SUV that Steven Adams was driving and fired one shot from a handgun at Adams, who was still in the driver’s seat. Adams fired back, Featherstone told police, and killed Leonard. Adams drove off.

Police responded to the shooting at 1:36 a.m. Sunday. When they arrived, Featherstone was holding Leonard’s hand.

Featherstone told police that she had picked up Leonard’s handgun and put it in her purse. Tiva Adams took the purse to her apartment, where she admitted to police she still had it.

Police executing the search warrant found the purse in the apartment, along with a Glock .40 caliber handgun with nine rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber.

A spent .40 caliber shell was found by police near Leonard’s body.

The warrant also sought permission to search Featherstone’s cellphone, recovered from Tiva Adams’ apartment, which police said would show contact made by phone between Featherstone and Steven Adams. Featherstone said Adams had called her on that phone.

Adams was arrested Monday after Kutnick contacted police on Sunday. Kutnick told police that Adams’ SUV was parked at the Microtel Inn, 2139 East Springs Drive, near East Towne Mall, and police found it there.

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