An ongoing feud between two neighbors about a public parking spot led to the shooting death of a former University of Colorado football player, according to prosecutors. His killer was convicted of murder.
Marcus Johnson, 34, was found guilty on Thursday afternoon for the death of Anthony “TJ” Cunningham, according to the district attorney’s office.
On Feb. 17, 2019, sheriff’s deputies responded to a parking lot at Eaglecrest High School, 5100 S. Picadilly St., Aurora, and found Cunningham who had been shot. He died a day later at a local hospital.
As deputies went to the shooting scene, Johnson called 911 dispatchers and said that he had shot Cunningham, and claiming that Cunningham had attacked him earlier in the day, according to a DA’s news release. Johnson and Cunningham were neighbors and the “pair had an ongoing dispute over a parking spot on a public street between their houses.”
Prior to the shooting, the two had “taunted each other in the street before eventually agreeing to resolve the parking dispute in a parking lot at Eaglecrest High School,” the release said. Cunningham was shot in the head and the chest.
“This defendant arranged a fight and showed up to the Eaglecrest High School parking lot with a gun,” said Andrew Steers, chief deputy DA, in the release. “This was not a case of self-defense. Johnson made the choice to end a petty dispute with violence.”
Johnson will remain in custody until his sentencing hearing scheduled for Dec. 2. He faces a maximum sentence of 48 years in prison.
“A life was taken over a minor neighborhood parking issue,” District Attorney John Kellner said. “This defendant tried to portray himself as a victim, but there’s no way to justify why a man had to lose his life over a parking spot disagreement.”