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Woman charged with murder after man found shot in head; claims it was accidental, police say

Woman charged with murder after man found shot in head; claims it was accidental, police say

From the This week in local crime news: A serial killer in Hammond series

GARY — A woman was accused of murdering her partner after police found a man with a gunshot wound to the head. After the alleged shooting, police said they found her in front of the apartment repeating, “I did not mean to do it.”

On Wednesday, Danitta Lashawn Cannon, 27, was charged with murder, according to Superior Court of Lake County records.

At 8:32 p.m. Monday officers were called to a possible homicide in the 800 block of North County Line Road in Gary, police said. Officers found a deceased man alone in an apartment, and at 9:26 p.m. a woman wearing no shoes walked up to the front of the apartment.

The woman, later identified as Cannon, said “I did not mean to do it,” several times, according to court records. Police took her into custody and she was transported to the Gary Police Department for holding.

Cannon gave police verbal consent to enter her apartment to collect evidence. Upon entering the apartment, police found clothes and dishes littering the floor. They then found the victim, Terrell Lamar Gill, laying on the floor of a bedroom. A revolver was laying next to his body, police said.

A Child Protective Services worker and police interviewed Cannon and Gill's two children,  7-year-old boys, according to court records.

The boys told police they lived with their parents, Cannon and Gill, and the boys' two sisters. One of the boys said Cannon and Gill had been fighting and that Gill became angry and started hitting Cannon.

The boy said his mother tried to give his father a gun and the gun accidentally went off. The boy further told police that is what is mother told him and he saw it happen. The child said his parents were always arguing and in a previous incident he said his father hit his mother in the lip, according to court records.

The other 7-year-old boy told police the same account, claiming he saw it happen. The boy told police was in his bedroom watching TV when he heard his mother screaming and then saw his mother try to give the gun to his father and it shot off, court records said.

A family member told police Cannon called her after the incident saying, “Something happened, it was a mistake. It was an accident. Terrell has been hurt.”

A review of a 911 call from Cannon showed she contacted dispatchers saying she needed emergency help at her apartment and asked them to hurry up several times.

During the call, Cannon told the operator she accidentally shot Gill, court records said. When the operator asked what happened, Cannon responded, “I went and grabbed the gun off the bed. It was on the bed. I don't know. Please come look, I need y'all.”

The operator asked Cannon again what happened and she replied, "I don't know. I grabbed the gun off the bed and we was arguing, well we weren't arguing, but he and I seen it and I told him it's right there," court records said.

During the 911 call, Cannon could be heard screaming Gill's name and asking responders to hurry. The operator asked where Gill was shot and Cannon said she thinks he was shot in the face and in the eye, court records said.

On Monday, the Lake County coroner's office reported Gill had one gunshot wound to the head and his death was ruled a homicide.

Police were also advised by an officer and firearms instructor that the amount of pressure required for the revolver to fire would have taken about five pounds of pressure to pull the hammer back, and if the hammer was already cocked it would have taken three pounds of pressure.

On Wednesday Cannon was taken into custody in Lake County Jail and is being held without bail.

Recent arrests booked into Lake County Jail


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Night Crime/Breaking News Reporter

Anna Ortiz is the breaking news/crime reporter for The Times, covering crime, politics, courts, investigative news and more. She is a Region native and graduate of Ball State University with a major in journalism and minor in anthropology.

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