Prosecutor says shopper cleared in fatal Ohio mall shooting

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Posted: Jan 09, 2015 4:11 PM
Prosecutor says shopper cleared in fatal Ohio mall shooting

CINCINNATI (AP) — A shopper who fatally shot a 16-year-old boy trying to rob him of limited-edition Nike sneakers outside a mall days before Christmas acted in self-defense, a prosecutor said Friday.

The man has been cleared of felony criminal charges in the case, Montgomery County prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. said. A 17-year-old boy has been released from juvenile detention because of insufficient evidence, and charges will be reviewed against a teen still being held, he said.

Miami Township police had said last month that three boys accosted two shoppers who were leaving the Dayton Mall after buying a new version of popular Air Jordan shoes on sale Dec. 20.

The 16-year-old who was shot, Jawaad Jabbar, of Middletown, showed "a fully operable and loaded firearm in an attempt to commit an armed robbery," Heck said in a statement.

The shopper, who had a concealed-weapons permit, pulled out his own gun and fired. The shopper remained at the scene and cooperated fully with investigators, Heck said.

"After reviewing the available evidence, the adult shooter's claim of self-defense was confirmed," Heck said.

Authorities have declined to release the man's name.

The other two boys were held in juvenile detention on charges including murder. Under Ohio law, a suspect can be held responsible for any death, including that of an accomplice, that occurs during the commission of an aggravated robbery.

The prosecutor's office said Friday no decision had been made on the 16-year-old boy still held but prosecutors will meet with detectives to review evidence in his case.

The boy's attorney, L. Patrick Mulligan, said this is "a case of multiple tragedies."

"You have a young man who lost his life, and regardless of his level of culpability, I think everyone would agree that was a tragedy," Mulligan said.

The shooter was legally carrying a gun and felt he had to defend himself but "has to carry that with him the rest of his life," Mulligan added.

He said it's also tragic that two "innocent kids were incarcerated," and he said he is hopeful his client will be released soon.

The 17-year-old boy's attorney, Anthony VanNoy, said he was freed Thursday.

"We felt like our client was innocent of the charges from the very beginning," VanNoy said.

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