Police: Sun Prairie shooting victim fired first

DANE COUNTY (WKOW) --  Court records show Sun Prairie Police officials maintain the victim of Sunday's fatal shooting fired the first shot, in a clash with a person-of-interest in the case. 

That person of interest, 34-year old Steve Adams of Cottage Grove, had been arrested on the tentative charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm.  Adams was released from the Dane County jail Wednesday, after a court commissioner established his bail as a signature bond, with participation in the bail monitoring program. 

Sun Prairie Police officials say 33-year old Thomas Leonard of Marshall was shot and killed in the parking lot of apartments at 425 South Bird Street.An affidavit in support of a warrant to search an apartment in the complex states Leonard's live-in girlfriend and mother of two of his children, Tanicka Featherstone, initially told detectives she arrived at the apartments as Leonard was being shot.

But the affidavit says after police confronted her with surveillance video, Featherstone changed her story.  She said she spent two days with Adams, and was in his car after seeing a movie with him, when Leonard arrived and confronted Adams.

"She said Thomas fired one shot from a handgun at Steve while Steve was seated in the driver's seat of his vehicle.  Steven returned gunfire,"  the affidavit says.The search warrant affidavit states Leonard had injuries consistent with several gunshot wounds.The court document also says Featherstone removed evidence.  "She concealed a firearm that was used by Thomas Lee Leonard."  the affidavit states.Court records show officers found Featherstone's purse in their search of an apartment, and found a handgun inside the purse.

At Tuesday's bail hearing for Adams, family members and friends packed the small court gallery, cheering loudly when the court commissioner announced Adams' bail would involve the posting of no cash.Adams' attorney, Joshua Kutnick declined to field questions from 27 News on whether his client's actions amounted to self-defense.

"We don't want to talk about it right now,"  Kutnick told 27 News.  "Eventually it will all come out."

Adams also declined comment to 27 News as he left jail, surrounded by loved ones.The Dane County district attorney has until August to decide if Adams will face any charges in connection to Leonard's shooting.

For more on this story: http://www.wkow.com/story/35719817/2017/06/21/police-sun-prairie-shooting-victim-fired-first

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