ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– Marcus Johnson, the man accused of shooting and killing T.J. “Anthony” Cunningham, a former CU Buffaloes player and an administrator in the Aurora Public Schools system, appeared in court Tuesday morning. Johnson allegedly shot Cunningham in a dispute over a parking space.
Johnson, 31, faces first-degree murder charges in the shooting. He has a criminal history that includes assault and a weapons possession charge.
He appeared in Arapahoe County Court on Tuesday morning for the advisement that lasted about 20 minutes. Johnson didn’t speak much, only whispering to his attorney.
Family members were there in the courtroom for his initial appearance.
According to court documents, Johnson and Cunningham lived across the street from each other and had an ongoing dispute over a parking space. The men went to Eaglecrest High School so they could “box it out.” That situation quickly escalated from yelling and name calling to the shooting, where Cunningham was fatally injured.
“I expect him to remain in place,” said 18th Judical District Attorney George Brauchler of Johnson, “There isn’t any amount of money on the planet Earth at this moment that could get him out of custody.”
Cunningham played cornerback and wide receiver at the University of Colorado from 1992 to 1995. He also went on to have a short professional career in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks. He was Hinkley High School’s assistant principal.
At approximately 9:20 a.m. Sunday morning, a passerby called 911 to say there had been a shooting at the athletic fields behind Eaglecrest High School.
According to court documents, Cunningham was shot three times. He later died at the hospital. Johnson called police to report the shooting and went home. He told police the gun was in his car, where it was observed by officers responding to the scene.
Neighbors told CBS4 that it was out of character for Cunningham to be involved in a dispute in the first place.