Tommy Pettigrew III


Tommy Pettigrew III, 21, of Tyler had a disagreement with Christopher Bolden, 39, of Bullard on Oct. 11 of 2020 that turned into a shoving match and ended up with Bolden being shot to death.

A Smith County Grand Jury in the 114th Judicial District Court indicted Pettigrew on murder charges this week. Court officials said he remains in the Smith County Jail on $500,000 bond.

The shooting occurred in the 2300 block of Cecil Avenue in Tyler on Oct. 11 at Pettigrew’s residence. Bolden was hospitalized and Tyler police later stated he died on Oct. 19.

According to an arrest warrant affidavit, Bolden was hanging out at the home of Pettigrew, his girlfriend and their 2-year-old daughter on Oct. 11. Pettigrew’s girlfriend told the detective Bolden was there with his girlfriend, but he decided to leave after making a comment about “getting a bad vibe.”

Before Bolden left, he and Pettigrew shook hands and took a shot of alcohol together, the girlfriend said, adding that they seemed to be cool with each other, the affidavit read.

Bolden later returned to Pettigrew’s house party, where he and his girlfriend argued over their child. Pettigrew then went outside and told Bolden he didn’t want drama at his house, according to the affidavit.

Bolden and Pettigrew started to “tussle” in the driveway. Pettigrew’s girlfriend said the men were fighting and she heard a gunshot. Pettigrew gave her the gun and asked her to call an attorney he’s used in the past, the document stated.

The girlfriend said she was scared and didn’t know what to do with the gun. Pettigrew drove off in his truck, and she left the house with their daughter and dog in her personal vehicle. She told the detective she threw Pettigrew’s gun on the side of the road. She later showed a detective where she dropped the gun, the affidavit read.

A witness of the shooting said it stemmed from a simple conflict, not anything gang or drug related. Another person in attendance said during the fight he saw a gun fall out of Bolden’s pocket, and the weapon fell to his feet, according to the police document. Bolden was pronounced brain dead on Oct. 16 and his organs were harvested for an autopsy.

Zak Wellerman contributed to this report.

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