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Investigator: Gainesville shooting victim looked up to man accused in his murder
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Daniel Guerrero enters Hall County Magistrate Court Monday, Aug. 9, 2021, for a committal hearing. Guerrero is accused of killing Qualyn Tanner in the early hours of July 17. He was indicted on murder charges on Sept. 15. - photo by Scott Rogers

A 32-year-old man accused of killing a Gainesville man in July told Hall County Sheriff’s detectives that for weeks the 21-year-old had been asking him to kill him. 

But Hall County Sheriff’s Investigator Joe Groover told the court during a preliminary hearing for Daniel Guerrero’s charge of murder that there was no evidence of Qualyn Tanner feeling troubled or suicidal.

“There was nothing negative,” Groover said. “He (Tanner) was nice and looked up to him (Guerrero) and his brother.” 

Details about the shooting death of Tanner, 21, on July 17 came out on Monday before Magistrate Judge Michelle Hall.  

During questioning from Assistant District Attorney Bill Akins, Groover said he arrived at 1080 Wade Drive near Athens Street about 1:30 a.m. after neighbors had reported gunshots in the area. Guerrero’s girlfriend told detectives she heard yelling behind the house before shots were fired. 

Tanner was found dead on the back porch with several gunshot wounds to his body. A medical examiner’s report has not been completed, but Groover said Tanner was shot seven to eight times. 

Shell casings were found close to the shooting scene. Deputies and a K-9 unit searched the area for a gun but could not find a weapon.

Groover said the Sheriff’s Office received a tip about Guerrero’s whereabouts from someone who had picked him up after the shooting. 

The tipster said Guerrero, who goes by “C-Money,” had confessed to shooting Tanner then exited the car on Interstate 985. Detectives found Guerrero in the same area he was dropped off about six hours later between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., Groover said.

Guerrero was charged with murder after he was picked up and questioned by detectives.  

Guerrero’s brother owns the house where the shooting occurred, but Guerrero had been staying at the home while his brother was in jail. 

Mary Hollis, Tanner’s biological mother, said she had never seen Guerrero but had heard her son talk highly of him and considered the two close friends.

“He felt really safe over there with him,” Hollis said. “I just can’t understand why he would turn on him.”

Hollis said she did not believe the comments made about Tanner wanting to be killed, as he was always smiling and in a good mood “even if he was hurting.”

Hollis said Tanner was upset when his father, Leshan Tanner, was sentenced to life in prison for a 2014 murder on West Avenue. 

“He thought he had nobody. He thought he was by himself ... and I told him I was always there for him if he needed me,” Hollis said.

Guerrero’s attorney, Brett Willis, asked how the two men knew each other. Groover said Guerrero told him during questioning that Tanner approached Guerrero and asked him why he was in the house. 

Initially, Groover said Guerrero “didn’t make a lot of sense.”

“He came in and acted like he didn’t know why he was here,” Groover said. 

The case will now move forward to Superior Court.  

Willis declined to comment following the hearing.

Reporter Nick Watson contributed to this story.

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