by David P. Greisman
The man accused of shooting Emanuel Augustus on Monday night in Baton Rouge has been arrested, and investigators say the alleged shooting had not actually targeted the beloved former journeyman boxer.
Christopher Stills, 21, is facing “charges of attempted second-degree murder, felon in possession of a handgun and illegal use of a weapon,” according to Louisiana newspaper The Times-Picayune.
A police spokesman, paraphrased in the article, alleged “that Stills got into an argument with his cousin while riding in a car. Stills then got out of the car and fired several gunshots over the car out of anger. Coppola said Stills did not know Augustus and the incident was not a robbery, as nothing was taken from the boxer.”
In a video posted Wednesday night, boxing writer Corey Erdman of Fight Network said of Augustus’ condition: “As of my contact with his family he was on life support, breathing with the assistance of a machine, with the bullet still lodged in his head,”
The shooting occurred just blocks from the gym where Augustus sparred.
Augustus, 39, was 38-34-6 in a career where that record was not at all indicative of the talent he had. He often took fights on short notice against all sorts of familiar names, be they prospects, contenders or future titleholders.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. stopped Augustus, then known as Emanuel Burton, in nine rounds in 2000. Mayweather has often said that Augustus was one of his toughest opponents. Augustus also had a fan-friendly war with Micky Ward in 2001, a bout that RING magazine named its Fight of the Year.
His pro career came to a close in January 2011 with a decision loss to Vernon Paris, the fifth defeat in a row for Augustus.
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