Exclusive: Brandon Hunt-Clark speaks out on councilman shooting - WSMV News 4

Exclusive: Brandon Hunt-Clark speaks out on councilman shooting

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Brandon Hunt-Clark spoke exclusively to Channel 4 on Monday. (WSMV) Brandon Hunt-Clark spoke exclusively to Channel 4 on Monday. (WSMV)
Loniel Greene (WSMV) Loniel Greene (WSMV)

Brandon Hunt-Clark broke his silence and spoke exclusively to Channel 4 about why he shot former Metro Councilman Loniel Greene last November.

Hunt-Clark said he was speaking out to let people know he is not a violent person, but a man who was defending himself in a frightening situation.

“I didn’t go looking for this man to go hurt him. He came approaching me and I just reacted,” Hunt-Clark said.

Hunt-Clark, who turned 20 in July, said he had never heard of or met Greene before the night of Nov. 4, 2015. He said he was a regular at the Marathon gas station on White Bridge Road because his girlfriend lived nearby.

Hunt-Clark said he had just purchased juice from the convenience store and was leaving with his friend Justin Lawton when Greene drove up and yelled out the window at them.

“The whole street’s dark. There are no cars around. I can’t really see what this man is doing. I don’t know what he has with him. I don’t know if he has a gun or what’s going on,” Hunt-Clark said.

RAW INTERVIEW: Click here to watch Channel 4's full interview with Brandon Hunt-Clark

Hunt-Clark described Greene’s body language as aggressive. Surveillance images show Greene took off his shirt as he followed Hunt-Clark and Lawton.

Lawton told police Greene was swearing at them.

“That’s what he first said. When I said he said, ‘Say something,’ he really said, ‘[Expletive], say something.’ Just yelled like that then he just kept screaming, ‘Ay, what the [expletive].’ I couldn’t really understand him because he was screaming so loud. But it was just a lot of aggressive body language,” Hunt-Clark said.

Hunt-Clark said he and Lawton ran from the former councilman, not knowing exactly where to go.

“He was getting so close, it was like if I run back to this house, then he’s going to see where I just went,” Hunt-Clark said. “As he started getting closer and closer, because he was walking much faster than us, I just decided that I needed to shoot him,” Hunt-Clark said.

Hunt-Clark said he shot to defend himself and his friend.

One of the major problems, however, was he was a felon with an unlicensed gun. Hunt-Clark was convicted of aggravated burglary as a teen, after he and a group of friends were caught with items stolen from parked vehicles.

“You’re unlicensed. You had a gun and then you shot someone,” Channel 4’s Hayley Mason said. “How do you have people sympathize with you when you had a gun you weren’t supposed to have and you shot a man?”

“What I would really say, what I told my mom, too, yes I had a gun and I shot him. But you got to go back and think what if I didn’t have it? This could’ve turned out a whole other way. I might not have been on the news for shooting him. I could’ve been on the news hurt,” Hunt-Clark said. He went on to explain he doesn’t have a car and walks everywhere he needs to go, alone and at night often times. Hunt-Clark maintained he had the weapon for protection, but never used it before that night.

Still, one of the most curious parts of that night was what was actually said between the young men and Greene. Greene told police and Channel 4 he thought one of the men was his brother.

“One of the men in the black and white, that’s who I thought was my brother. So I yell out his name, ‘Hey Chris,’ and then once I’d passed them, I passed them just a little bit, then I said, ‘Hey Chris,’” Greene said.

Hunt-Clark and Lawton said that’s not what happened.

“I can say 100 percent he didn’t ever call his brother’s name or anything like that. So that’s a lie. He’s just trying to hide whatever he was really trying to do, because I still don’t know,” Hunt-Clark said.

“So did he ever call your name? Did he call anyone’s name?” Mason asked.

“He didn’t call anyone’s name. He was just yelling aggressive language, as I said before,” Hunt-Clark said.

Hunt-Clark said he still doesn’t know what Greene wanted or why he approached him.

“If I was his brother, let’s say you saw your brother walking down the street. Would you not stop the car and maybe try to get him in the car with you or would you park your car at a gas station and jump out, take your shirt off and go chasing after your brother? To me, that doesn’t make any kind of sense,” Hunt-Clark said.

Hunt-Clark fled to Grenada, MS, after the shooting.

“After I had seen it kept appearing on the news, I realized I couldn't stay here,” Hunt-Clark said. “I realized I had a real close friend in Mississippi. That was the only person I knew that was close, but far enough. So I decided to go down there until I could get an idea of what I wanted to do.”

While on the lam, he was arrested for a hotel robbery he said he didn’t commit. That case was dismissed when no one could identify him.

When Greene learned of the arrest, he issued the following statement:

I am saddened to learn that this young man has continued down a troubled path of committing violent crimes. I hope he has an opportunity to turn his life around once he has been held accountable for his actions.

“He's really speaking on something that he doesn't know,” Hunt-Clark said of Greene’s statement. “Because the crime I was accused of in Mississippi, I didn't do. That's why it was dismissed. I'm not a violent person at all. You've got to question him. He still hasn't came and really told his true intentions of that night.”

Hunt-Clark said the characterization that he is a violent person is a misconception.

“I felt like I hadn't done anything that deserved me to go to jail. I didn't engage this confrontation,” he said.

Last Wednesday, Hunt-Clark took a plea deal with the state. He will serve three years supervised probation for felony aggravated assault. The charge will stay on his record. He will also have to take non-violence and behavior classes.

Mason asked Hunt-Clark why he took the plea deal if he shot in self-defense.

“Sitting in jail, it's just depressing,” Hunt-Clark said. “You can't see your family. You can't do anything. You're just sitting in a box really with no freedom whatsoever. Anybody would want to come home as fast as possible.”

He added he hadn’t seen his family in nearly a year and wanted to choose the quickest route to get back home.

Hunt-Clark said he has been spending time with his little sister, niece and nephew, trying to move forward and start working again.

“I can't change the past. All I can do is do the best I can every day to better myself for the future and to get to where I want to be in life.”

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