A lack of credible witnesses could allow Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison to escape legal charges.
Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham on Tuesday said she cannot proceed with charges in a shooting involving Harrison because of conflicting accounts from witnesses.
The shooting occurred on April 29 in North Philadelphia, a neighborhood where Harrison owns a car wash and a bar/restaurant.
An unidentified 32-year-old man suffered a bullet wound to the hand following a fistfight with Harrison outside Playmakers, a bar owned by the player about a half-mile from the car wash. A 2-year-old boy sustained a cut under his eye when a stray bullet hit a windshield.
Ballistics tests confirmed that five shell casings found at the crime scene had come from a high-powered Belgian handgun that Harrison owns. Police found the weapon inside Harrison's garage.
Harrison admitted to police his involvement in the fistfight, but denied any involvement in the shooting.
Abraham said her office was handcuffed due to conflicting statements provided by multiple witnesses in the case.
"At this juncture, we are unable to proceed with a criminal prosecution because of the multiple, mutually exclusive, and inherently untrustworthy and false statements by the people present," Abraham said. "Police have been unable to locate anyone else who may have been there that day.
"We cannot as prosecutors vouch for the credibility of any of those witnesses."
She added there yet may be prosecutorial action in the incident, which could hinge on testimony in a civil case pending against Harrison.
Harrison has been sued for his involvement in the incident by Dwight Dixon, who is seeking $100,000 in damages for "serious and permanent injuries ... and a severe shock to his nerves and nervous system."
According to the civil lawsuit, Dixon alleges Harrison "intentionally and outrageously shot" him, although he added that he could have been shot by someone using the Pro Bowl receiver's gun.
Offering examples of what her office was up against, Abraham cited some of the inconsistent facts of the principals in the case.
When police arrived at the hospital to interview Dixon following the shooting, he told officers he was shot resisting a robbery by two men. He also told hospital personnel his name was Malik Tucker.
Dixon later told investigators that he did not want to "get involved in any of this." He subsequently was arrested for making false reports to police and is awaiting trial.
Harrison has not commented publicly on the incident and his agent, Tom Condon, said his client was not involved in the shooting.
A 13-year veteran who has played his entire career with the Colts, Harrison had 60 receptions for 636 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games this season.
No witness, no charges against Colts WR Harrison
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