Court date delayed for teen shooting suspect

Court date delayed for teen shooting suspect
Kemar Pride is accused of opening fire after an altercation on Levi Road and the bullets traveled into nearby homes, one of which hit a woman in the face while she held a toddler.

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The teenager charged with opening fire in a neighborhood and hitting a mother nearby had his court appearance delayed for a third time Friday.

Kemar Pride’s report date was continued to January 8, after similar delays on December 28 and January 3, according to Shelby County court records.

The 19-year-old remains behind bars on a $250,000 bond, facing multiple charges of attempted murder, along with firearm possession, theft and reckless endangerment.

Pride was arrested December 19 shortly after police said he caused a car crash, then started shooting on West Levi Road and Hammett Street in Westwood.

The incident started at the nearby Save Mart, where police said Pride got into a scuffle with a woman then hit her car as he was driving out of the parking lot.

The woman followed Pride’s Lincoln Town Car down Levi Road to get a tag number, but Pride braked suddenly and caused the woman to rear-end his vehicle, according to the police affidavit.

Pride got out of the car and started shooting at the woman’s vehicle.

Two houses were hit by gunfire and one bullet hit Vonshea Thompson in the mouth while she was holding her 2-year-old child, according to police.

"The people got out and started shooting and that's when we had found out [Thompson] had been shot and she was laying out on the ground,” neighbor Patricia Durden told WMC Action News 5 the day after the shooting.

Thompson is the mother to six children and is still recovering from surgery after the shooting, Durden said.

Pride was arrested on several occasions in 2018, but none of the cases resulted in substantial jail time, court records show.

The teen was arrested for theft of property, unlawful weapon possession and evading arrest January 15, after officers said they chased Pride down Lamar Avenue while investigating a shoplifting and found him carrying a handgun.

That case is listed as “Nolle Prosequi” in court records, meaning prosecutors opted not to pursue the charges.

Pride was charged again in May with theft of property and received a year probation after pleading guilty.

But Pride was brought back to court in June when Pretrial Services said they were not able to contact the teen by phone or mail, and could not verify he had completed the court-ordered community service or theft cessation class.

Records indicate the class was ultimately completed December 6.

Pride was arrested a third time in September as police investigated a prowler call on Atmore Street in Parkway Village.

Officers spotted Pride driving a stolen Dodge Ram pickup loaded with a generator and weed eaters taken from a carport, an affidavit states.

Pride sped off when police tried to stop him, and bailed out of the truck after crashing through a fence.

Police say Pride gave a written statement admitting to the theft of the truck and tools.

But the charges were dismissed in court for a “lack of prosecution” on October 23.

A spokesman for the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office did not respond to an email seeking information about why prosecutors decided not to move forward in the cases.

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