Accused DraftKings’ shooter claims self-defense; second gun found near shooting victim

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DraftKings Sportsbook logo. File Photo

MANCHESTER, NH – A man accused of seriously injuring a former friend, after a falling out over a woman, maintains he shot him in self-defense.

Antwone Cousins, 39, last known address of 21 Nazing St., Boston, Mass., is charged with first-degree assault in the April 21, 2021, shooting of Marquis Anderson, 38.  Anderson, who a prosecutor said remains hospitalized and is intubated, was shot in the abdomen and left leg.

Cousins is also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a dangerous weapon.  He surrendered to police on a warrant for his arrest Monday.

At a bail hearing Thursday in Hillsborough County Superior Court Northern District, Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney Alex Gatzoulis asked Judge N. William Delker to order Cousins preventatively detained because he poses a danger to the victim.

Cousins/MPD

The shooting took place about 9:15 p.m. outside DraftKings, 1279 South Willow St. When police arrived, they found Anderson under a pickup truck suffering from gunshot wounds; his breathing was shallow.

He was taken to the Elliot Hospital and later air flighted to another undisclosed hospital where he remains.

Investigators reviewed video provided by DraftKings of the exterior of the building the night of the shooting.  Cousins was recorded leaving the business with a woman.  Outside, they parted and Cousins is seen firing several rounds at Anderson, who falls to the ground and crawls under a large pickup truck.

Other video from earlier in the evening showed Cousins with the same woman, identified only as C.L. in court papers, talking to a bartender. Detectives were able to identify the woman from Facebook postings, including a photograph she posted the day of the shooting in the same outfit she wore at DraftKings.

When she first briefly spoke to investigators, the woman told them she was with the suspect but didn’t know his name.  When an unknown man approached Cousins outside DraftKings, she said she left and headed back into the casino when she heard gunshots.

The woman later retained Attorney Mark Sisti and was reinterviewed by police at his Chichester office.  She told them she knew Cousins as “Stix” and had gone on several dates with him.  She also said that Cousins and Anderson, who she previously called the “unknown man,” had been close friends but had a falling out over a woman.

The night of the shooting, she said when they came out of DraftKings she heard tires squealing and saw Anderson step out from between two vehicles.  Anderson and Cousins had a brief confrontation and she saw Anderson reach toward his waist.  Sensing something bad was going to happen, she said she turned around to head back into DraftKings when she heard gunshots.

Gatzoulis said police recovered bullet casings at the scene as well as a stolen handgun from the wheel well of the pickup truck where Anderson was found.

The judge asked Gatzoulis if the stolen handgun was fired. Gatzoulis said that it is unclear if the gun was fired and remains under investigation.  He said a projectile or casing – he couldn’t recall which – was recovered in an SUV parked about 100 feet away from where the shooting occurred.

Defense Attorney Hannah Roberts asked the judge to set bail at $5,000 cash.  She said the state did not present clear and convincing evidence that Cousins is a danger.  And, she said, one witness provided evidence that the shooting was a case of self-defense.

She said police did not include in court documents the information about the stolen handgun being recovered in the wheel well, indicative that Anderson put it there to lessen his role in the incident. The judge, however, said it was just as indicative that if he were a convicted felon, he didn’t want police to find it on him.

Roberts said it was her understanding that Anderson was on parole out of New York and that him being in New Hampshire violated that parole. She also said he has a number of gun violations in his record.

Gatzoulis told the judge C.L. gave inconsistent statements to police and is connected to Cousins.  He said a second, independent witness, one with no link to Cousins, told police he saw a man pull out a firearm and shoot Anderson.  That witness reported five gunshots and said the shooter stopped firing when it appeared the gun malfunctioned.

The shooter then walked away toward a darker-colored Nissan parked in the northern portion of the lot, got into the passenger side of the car and the driver proceeded to exit the lot towards Hannafords.

Roberts countered that that witness also reported what appeared to be a drug transaction, something no one else witnessed.

Cousins, Gatzoulis said, has a criminal record dating back to 1999 which includes convictions for possessing cocaine with the intent to distribute it, federal probation violations, criminal threatening, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.  His last conviction was for unlawful drug possession in 2008, 13 years ago.

Roberts said Cousins is not a risk of flight, as is evident by him turning himself in to police. She also pointed out that his last conviction was more than a dozen years ago.  What his record shows, she said, is that he is a 39-year-old man who in his young days was in trouble but who has turned his life around.  His record does not indicate anything violent, she said.

She said Cousins lives in Boston with his sister who is a nurse at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  He was adopted and his family lives in Manchester.   He is the father of a 6-year-old daughter and has been in recovery for more than a decade.

He was employed for about five years for ABC Painting, which flips old houses, but has been out of work because of Covid-19.

The judge ordered Cousins preventatively detained saying the state met its burden by clear and convincing evidence that he was a danger by reason of him being a convicted felon in possession of a dangerous weapon.

However, he said an evidentiary hearing will be scheduled because of the remaining question concerning whether the stolen gun was fired.