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Local teenager arrested after series of shootings linked to social media dating app

Damarion Trammell Degrate, 17, was arrested on a warrant charging attempted murder.
Damarion Trammell Degrate, 17, was arrested on a warrant charging attempted murder.(Jail photo)
Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 1:35 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 21, 2020 at 6:58 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - Police have arrested a Waco teenager in connection with a series of shootings linked to a social media dating app that left one man dead and two others injured.

Damarion Trammell Degrate, 17, was arrested at around noon Thursday on a warrant charging attempted murder in connection with one of the three shootings early Monday.

“We identified early in the investigation a link between the three shootings and the danger this suspect presented to our community,” interim police Chief Frank Gentsch said.

Degrate, who was held in the McLennan County Jail Thursday evening in lieu of $200,000 bond, according to online records, is also considered a suspect in the shootings that left Jonathan Breeding, 23, of Waco dead and another man injured, police Sgt. Peter Mottley said.

“Early on detectives established a link with all three shooting victims who used an online dating app primarily used by gay men,” Mottley said.

Breeding was the second of three victims who were shot early Monday in Waco.

Officers found him unresponsive at the wheel of a car that crashed into a pole at around 1:40 a.m. Monday at North 34th Street and Brook Circle.

He was taken to a local hospital where he died.

The call came just more than an hour after officers responded just before 12:30 a.m. Monday to a convenience store at North New Road and Bosque Boulevard where they found a shooting victim who had told officers he had been shot at a different location and then drove to the store to get help.

The unidentified victim was taken to a local hospital.

Officers found the third victim at North 36th and Grim Avenue after receiving reports at around 6:15 a.m. Monday of gunfire in the 1000 block of North 34th Street.

He also was taken to a local hospital.

We continue to caution our citizens when using dating applications, in particularly those that cater to the LGBTQ+ community,” Mottley said Friday.

“We strongly recommend arranging online dating meetings in public venues.”

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