published Friday, June 13th, 2014

Keith Rawls charged with with attempted first-degree murder

Keith Rawls showed up at the O'Charley's restaurant on Shallowford Village Drive on Wednesday afternoon toting a gun and wanting to fight another man over an issue with his "baby mama," police said.

He left the area in handcuffs after walking away from a bizarre incident with a parking lot full of witnesses. And he was not shy about his intentions when talking to police.

Rawls, 22, is charged with attempted first-degree murder and several other offenses after several witnesses told police that he initiated a physical altercation that led to his firing a shot from a handgun that he admitted to buying off the streets the night before.

He also told officers that he brought the gun to the restaurant where 18-year-old Brandon Anderson worked to scare Anderson because the man had been "talking to and paying bills for his baby mama," an arrest affidavit states.

Initially, Rawls told police the gun fell out of his pocket. Later, he said he pulled it out to scare Anderson.

Rawls first approached an O'Charley's employee who was outside the restaurant and asked if Anderson was working, the employee told police.

Unaware of a dispute between the two, the employee told Anderson a man was looking for him.

A "scuffle" then broke out between the two, and at some point the gun fired, according to witnesses.

Rawls had left his keys and gun in the parking lot after the altercation and tried to return for them but he was turned away by employees and witnesses and walked away.

Police detained Rawls on McCutcheon Road near the Super 8 Motel as he walked away.

A woman later told police that the bullet damaged the side mirror of her vehicle after it ricocheted off the ground.

Rawls is being held at the Hamilton County Jail on $200,000 bond. He will appear in court Wednesday. In 2013 he was placed on diversion for a charge of theft under $500 and was already scheduled to appear in court next month on a March burglary charge.

Contact staff writer David Cobb at dcobb@timesfreepres.com or 423-757-6731.

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