Courtney Harden-Pulliam Had Message of Peace in High School - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather and Events

Courtney Harden-Pulliam Had Message of Peace in High School

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Courtney Harden-Pulliam pleaded guilty plea today for third degree murder and aggravated assault.    Harden-Pulliam pleaded guilty to entering the East Erie Turners  on January 5, and opening fire.  Rashid Anderson died after being shot in the chest.  Three others were injured.   Harden-Pulliam was a basketball star at Strong Vincent High School, where he graduated in 2010. At one point during his senior year, he was an advocate of peace during a turbulent time in the city.

Gun violence was on the rise in the city that year, and high school basketball players were stepping up to be examples for peace. One of those players was Courtney Harden-Pulliam.  During a simple luncheon at an Erie restaurant, two teams were making a powerful statement against violence.  When East and Strong Vincent played the previous year, a large brawl took place outside the Hammermill Center.  The two teams' coaches, including Pulliam's father, who coaches at Strong Vincent, did not want to see violence break out again.  So they called the 2010 basketball game between the two schools "A Game of Unity."

The players sat down and ate lunch together the day of the game. Each wore a shirt saying "I'm Game for Peace." Those were the warm-up shirts they wore before the game.  A player that wore one of those shirts was Courtney Harden-Pulliam.  He believed that sending a message of peace was important to him.

"We do take it serious because a lot of kids look up to us and talk to us and stuff.   They really do look up to us.   I know I looked up to other players when I was younger in middle school so I know they look up to us," he said.

Now, four years later, Harden-Pulliam faces decades in jail for third degree murder and aggravated assault. He will be sentenced on July 31.

 
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