Man accused in death denies firing gun he took to party
Tyrone Chambers blames Dundurn Street shooting squarely on co-accused
One of two men charged in the death of Hamilton teen Brandon Musgrave at a student house party in 2010 says he did not fire his handgun at any point that night.
Tyrone Chambers, 31, was testifying in his own defence Thursday during a jury trial. He and Joshua David Warner, 29, are accused of second-degree murder and aggravated assault in the shooting of Musgrave and of two other students who survived. Kauner Chinambu was shot in the wrist and chest and Ted Tsibu-Darkoh, in the shoulder.
The victims were guests at a March 12, 2010, spring break party given by Columbia International College students living at 53 Dundurn St. S.
Chambers admitted to bringing a handgun, hidden in his clothes, to the party he learned of through his brother. He also admitted taking his gun out, pointing it at three people and waiving it around.
But Chambers insisted he did not even fire the gun and blamed the shootings squarely on Warner.
The trial, now in its sixth week, has heard Musgrave was shot in the head while trying to calm a dispute over music. Chambers did not like the music and tried to put on his own.
Chambers testified the music “sounded weird” and “wasn’t party music.” He asked Wesley Adi to change it, but said he was taken aback when Adi responded with: “Who are you to tell me to change the music? You’re not even from this house.”
Chambers said he responded with a derogatory remark.
“I think I offended him. I said let’s go outside to talk about it.”
Adi agreed to go, but others intervened. One in particular was “counterproductive. …
“I end up telling him to shut up,” Chambers testified.
When a big fellow “looked like he wanted to punch me … I started to get nervous.”
That’s when Chambers, then 23, took out his gun to scare them, he said.
“I could end this f---ing party right now,” he said, before putting the gun down by his side and saying he was only there “to chill.”
Everyone stared at him and then shots rang out from behind, hitting Chinambu first and then Musgrave, Chambers said.
Chambers said he saw Warner fire a gun. He said he had no idea Warner had a gun with him.
“It was surreal. I couldn’t believe it. My first instinct was to get out of there.”
Chambers admitted to fleeing the party behind Warner, saying he panicked. He also acknowledged hiding his gun in a frontyard bush on Canada Street and later retrieving it. And he admitted fleeing to Halifax where a friend’s family offered him safe haven.
“I thought if I laid low for a while, it would come out who the shooter was.”
Chambers also admitted that at the time of the party, he had a criminal record for drug trafficking and possession of stolen property, and was prohibited from possessing firearms.
When his lawyer, Christopher Hicks, got him to describe his upbringing, he said his mother was a drug addict and his father was absent, putting him in the care of Children’s Aid and in foster homes since he was three.
The jury is aware Chambers and Warner have had a trial before on these charges and that an appeals court ordered a new trial after finding the judge made a fundamental error.
The trial is scheduled to resume on Monday with Warner’s lawyer, Devin Baines, questioning Chambers.