Former Georgia Tech guard Javaris Crittenton, wanted for murder since Friday in the drive-by shooting of a 23-year-old Atlanta mother, was not in custody Sunday afternoon, police said.
Crittenton, 23, a former NBA player and first-round pick out by the Los Angeles Lakers, is believed to be in California. Atlanta detectives are working with the FBI to take him into custody.
Atlanta police say Crittenton killed Jullian Jones, a mother of four, when firing at a group of people walking along Macon Drive in southeast Atlanta Aug. 19.
Police say Crittenton reported being robbed of jewelry April 21 and may have thought a person on the sidewalk was responsible.
Read full story after the jump“It appears Mr. Crittenton observed who he thought was the perpetrator walking down the street,” Major Keith Meadows told the AJC Friday. “It so happens Miss Jones was walking down the street at the same time.”
Jones was walking with others near her Macon Drive home in southwest Atlanta around 10 p.m. Aug. 19 when she was shot, police said. Several witnesses told police the shots were fired from a black Chevrolet Tahoe.
Jones was struck in the leg and later died during surgery. Two men walking with Jones fled and were not injured, and investigators now believe one of those men was the intended target.
Crittenton was selected by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the 2007 NBA Draft and was traded his rookie year to the Memphis Grizzlies.
While playing for the Washington Wizards, Crittenton was involved in a December 2009 locker room incident with then-teammate Gilbert Arenas in which the two pulled guns on each other. On Jan. 25, 2010, Crittenton pleaded guilty and was given a year of probation on a misdemeanor gun possession charge. Two days later, Crittenton and Arenas were suspended for the rest of the season.
Crittenton wasn’t re-signed by the Wizards. The Charlotte Bobcats signed him to a non-guaranteed contract before last season, but he was waived Oct. 15. He has joined the NBA Development League’s Dakota Wizards.
Crittenton is a former AJC “Mr. Basketball” and high school star at Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. He is originally from Atlanta and still has ties to the area, Meadows said.
Property records show Crittenton owns a home in Fayetteville.
“I’m a little at a loss for words because, knowing what he went through in Washington with the whole gun stuff, that’s the first thing that comes to mind,” former Georgia Tech and NBA star Dennis Scott told the AJC. “And then secondly, if all the allegations that we’re hearing are true with the retaliation that police are trying to figure out, why put yourself in a situation like that?”
Scott is now a commentator on Turner-operated NBA TV in Midtown.