May 20, 2024


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Complaint: Months-old basketball ‘beef’ results in gunshots, attempted homicide charge | Crime

An argument on a basketball court nearly two months ago may have led to a shooting Saturday in Fitchburg for which a Fitchburg man was charged Wednesday with attempted homicide.

A criminal complaint alleges Dwayne J. Pickens Jr., 34, fired gunshots from a vehicle at another driver on McKee Road early Saturday after the two men met at a gas station in Fitchburg, and Pickens then followed the man before firing the shots.

Pickens was charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, possession of a firearm by a felon and felony bail jumping. Bail was set at $100,000 during an appearance in court Wednesday.

“He does dispute the allegation and does want to challenge it in court,” said attorney Kathleen Chung, appearing in court with Pickens.

According to the complaint:

The man told police he was at Kwik Trip, 6122 McKee Road, shortly before 2:40 a.m. Saturday when another vehicle pulled up at a gas pump. The other driver, someone the man said he had had a “beef” with, yelled an insult at his window at the man.

The man told police he quickly backed out of the pump area to leave and took a right turn on McKee Road but was followed by the other driver. When the man stopped at the traffic light at Commerce Park Drive to make a U-turn, the other driver’s SUV pulled up alongside and the driver began shooting at him.

The man said he made a U-turn while the other driver turned south on Commerce Park Drive. He said he was soon headed north on Verona Road but thought the other driver was following him as he called 911. The man stopped at the BP station at Nakoma Road and Midvale Boulevard, where police met him.

Police found a bullet fragment lodged in the man’s car. At Commerce Park Drive and McKee Road, police found .40-caliber cartridge casings, along with two 9mm casings. The victim of the shooting, who had a concealed carry permit, said he had also fired a gun.

The man later said the shooting stemmed from an incident on May 5 when he was playing basketball at Warner Park Community Recreation Center against the suspected shooter, later identified as Pickens, when Pickens became angry and threatened to “shoot this (expletive) up” and stormed out to get his gun, but another person stopped him.

The man said Pickens also threatened to stab the man and would kill him when he found him.

Dwayne Pickens Jr.


The man told police that his brother helped identify the suspected shooter as Pickens. The man’s brother knew Pickens, he said. The man also recognized Pickens as the shooter from photos he was shown.

On Monday, police executed a search warrant at an apartment on Leopold Way where Pickens was staying and found a loaded .40-caliber handgun along with ammunition that was the same type as the casings found at the shooting scene.

At the time of the shooting, Pickens was free on a signature bond for a 2019 case in which he is charged with possession of a firearm by a felon. A trial in that case is set for September.