NFL player armed in shooting but fired no shots: prosecutor


CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon was armed with a legal weapon when a teenage boy was shot near the player’s home earlier this month but he did not fire the gun or do anything illegal, authorities said Thursday as they announced the indictments of Mixon’s sister and her boyfriend.

Lamonte Brewer, whom authorities have identified as the shooter, remained at large Thursday, while Shalonda Mixon was apprehended Thursday afternoon by the Southern Ohio Fugitive Apprehension Strike Team, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported, citing U.S. Marshals supervisor Charles Sanso.

Brewer fired several shots and is charged with felonious assault, tampering with evidence and two weapons counts, Prosecutor Melissa Powers said at a news conference Thursday. Shalonda Mixon is charged with tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. Brewer faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted on all counts, while Shalonda Mixon faces up to four years. It was not known if either had an attorney to speak for them

Joe Mixon owns his gun legally and faces no charges, Powers said.

The March 6 shooting happened as several juveniles were playing dart wars, where teams shoot at each other with foam dart guns, Powers said. She added that Joe Mixon had been receiving death threats and was concerned when he heard people were running around nearby with weapons. She said the running back was in the yard with Brewer when the shots rang out, but Brewer — armed with a Zastava pistol, which resembles an AK-47 and fires the same round — acted independently.

Surveillance footage from Joe Mixon’s home captured the shooting and also showed Shalonda Mixon collecting shell casings from the yard before she and Brewer left the home, Powers said. She said Brewer and others should have been able to tell that the numerous youths playing the dart wars game were carrying toy weapons.

The shooting victim, a 16-year-old boy, was hit by at least one shot and was treated at a hospital. He has since been released.

Mixon’s agent, Peter Schaffer, said in a prepared statement Thursday that the prosecutor’s finding that the player did nothing wrong “is the conclusion we expected based on the facts that clearly show Joe is innocent.”

Schaffer said his client had returned home from California on the day of the shooting and — due to the threats — became concerned that night when he saw “a number of vehicles” had pulled up at his house and blocked the street. He also saw one person with what appeared to be “a long gun” and went outside to try to determine what was going on, not to confront anyone.

No one responded to a message left Thursday with the Bengals.

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