Mental health issues may have played role in deadly Austin shooting: defense attorney

Marshawn Pierce allegedly shot 23-year-old Michael Cooper “without any provocation” last week, prosecutors said.

SHARE Mental health issues may have played role in deadly Austin shooting: defense attorney
More than a dozen people were arrested in the second phase of a drug trafficking investigation, authorities announced July 14, 2020.

A 32-year-old man has been charged with a fatal shooting June 4, 2021, in Austin.

Adobe File Photo

Mental health issues may have played a role in the allegedly unprovoked killing of an Austin man last week, the accused gunman’s lawyer said Tuesday.

Marshawn Pierce, 32, has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, Pierce’s defense attorney told Cook County Judge Arthur Wesley Willis.

“I do believe that may have played a role in this,” the attorney said after prosecutors detailed the allegations against Pierce.

Pierce told detectives he shot 23-year-old Michael Cooper because he was a “snake” who had “tried to set him up before,” Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said.

Cooper was hanging out at an apartment in the 5200 block of West Le Moyne Street with Pierce’s brother and two other people around 7:25 p.m. Friday when Pierce walked in, Murphy said.

“Without any provocation,” Pierce racked a .380-caliber handgun and shot Cooper once in the head as he sat on a rear stairway, Murphy said.

Cooper was pronounced dead at the scene and a shell casing was recovered.

Pierce was taken into custody during a traffic stop the following day and charged with first-degree murder.

Pierce told detectives he had been talking to his brother and that Cooper only said “what’s up?” to him before he fired the shot, Murphy said. Pierce also allegedly told detectives they could find the gun in his car’s glove box, where it was later recovered.

Pierce, works in construction and lives with his girlfriend, who gave birth to the couple’s child 10 days earlier, his defense attorney said.

Willis ordered Pierce held without bail.

He is expected back in court June 25.

The Latest
The adeptness with which Foligno has grown comfortable in Chicago, earned every player’s trust and ascended into a leadership role has been remarkable. The Hawks will need his vocal abilities even more moving forward.
The former first lady had her intimate funeral at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, where she and her husband spent decades welcoming guests and where a wooden cross Jimmy Carter fashioned in his woodshop is displayed.
The hall, not the players, decide which team emblem goes on the Cooperstown plaques.
Losing is one thing, but doing so with little effort — especially on the defensive end — is unforgivable for a unit that had a top five defensive rating last season. It’s on coach Billy Donovan to hand out a punishment that fits the crime.
International pressure for a lasting cease-fire is mounting. An Israeli ground invasion of the south to pursue Hamas will likely bring an escalating cost in Palestinian lives and destruction that the United States, Israel’s main ally, could be unwilling to bear.