OCALA, Fla. — State prosecutors have cleared a man who fatally shot an armed teen on his property and seriously injured another teen.
Authorities say Jeffery Scott, a high school senior, was pointing a gun at another teenager on Dec. 12 when homeowner Edrige Rivers fatally shot Scott and wounded 19-year-old Marcus Cooper. The bullet paralyzed Cooper from the waist down.
Rivers said he yelled at them to stop and then fired, fearing Scott was going to shoot his son’s friend.
“After thorough review of this case, it is clear that the use of deadly force by Rivers was justified and lawful and no further action is warranted by this office,” according to a memorandum from the state attorney’s office on Thursday.
Witnesses said Rivers’ son and Scott attended a basketball game earlier that night and agreed to fight after. When the fight broke up, both sides went their separate ways. River’s son said he was afraid to go home in case he was followed.
Scott and Cooper were out looking for Rivers’ son when they pulled up at the house along with a group of Rivers’ friends. Rivers shot Scott once in the pelvis and the bullet struck blood vessels, which led to his death.
Ocala Police said Scott fired several rounds at Rivers with a handgun.
The Ocala Star Banner reports Rivers’ home burned a week later. Police are investigating it as arson. Rivers reminisced about feeding the hungry out of his home and how it was a “safe haven” for youth.
He held a press conference in front of his burned home Friday, joined by several local leaders and pastors, vowing to help get guns off the street.
Rivers said he does “not feel good about what happened” and that his mission going forward will be to “work with community leaders and go into the community to help stop crime.”
He challenged parents to go into their children’s rooms and if they see anything that does not belong, take it out.
Information from: Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner, http://www.starbanner.com/