- Associated Press - Friday, October 10, 2014

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) - A Wyoming man with a gunshot wound to his stomach was on his knees begging for his life when a 16-year-old who had opened fire into a group of teens shot him in the head at point-blank range, Laramie County prosecutors said.

“I thought I should finish what I started. I didn’t want him to suffer,” Phillip Sam told a Cheyenne police detective, according to court records.

Tyler Burns, 19, died at a hospital Monday after the weekend shooting in Cheyenne. Sam is charged as an adult with first-degree murder in his death.

The cold, public execution described by prosecutors is practically unheard of in Cheyenne, a city of 62,000 that’s usually quiet outside of its rambunctious summer rodeo and cowboy-culture festival, Cheyenne Frontier Days. The occasional killings typically are domestic or drug-related disputes - not teen rumbles.

And the lower-income neighborhood where the shooting occurred isn’t particularly crime-ridden or dangerous, even at night.

Sam also was charged Wednesday with 13 counts of aggravated assault, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported (https://bit.ly/1pWf4JB).

He has not entered a plea. Circuit Court Judge Thomas Lee ordered Sam held at a juvenile detention center on $250,000 bond. His preliminary hearing is set for Oct. 15.

Sam’s public defender, Melody Anchietta, did not return a phone call from The Associated Press seeking comment Thursday, while a phone message left at a number believed to belong to Sam’s mother was not immediately returned.

Police said another boy believed Sam had vandalized his vehicle, and the two agreed to meet at a park early Sunday to fight. Sam told detectives he got a .40-caliber gun from his mother’s boyfriend and brought it to the park because he was scared of being jumped, court records said.

Sam fired several shots into a group of teens shortly after 1 a.m., charging documents said. One shot hit Burns, and another teen was grazed on the arm. All but Burns were able to run away.

A minor who was with Sam told police that Burns begged Sam not to shoot him again, but that Sam walked up “until he was at point-blank range” and shot him twice more, court records said.


Information from: Wyoming Tribune Eagle, https://www.wyomingnews.com

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