‘Point ’em out, knock ’em out’: Brutal game ends when assault victim fires his concealed handgun
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The game was called “point ’em out, knock ’em out,” and it was as random as it was brutal.
The object: Target an innocent victim for no other reason than they are there, then sucker punch him or her.
But on this day in Lansing, there would be no punch. The teen-age attacker had a stun gun. He did not know his would-be victim was carrying a legally concealed pistol.
The teen lost the game.
Last month, more than 400,000 adults could lawfully carry hidden handguns in Michigan. That’s one in 17 men and women 21 or older, more than since records have been kept.
An MLive Media Group investigation found that crime numbers continue to drop across Michigan, even as police ranks decline. Some see the seemingly contradictory trends as proof the proliferation of concealed weapons is deterring lawbreakers.
Evidence is largely anecdotal – such as the Lansing case. The victim chose not to be interviewed until the case is resolved. He also fears a possible break-in from those who know he has a gun.
But 70 pages of police records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act shed light into the reasons some people carry, and what can happen.
‘I wasn’t sure if it was a knife’
The 17-year-old in gym shorts approached his target. The 28-year-old Lansing man was waiting for his daughter at her school-bus stop at REO Road and Ballard Street.
It was May 29, and a nice day. Temperatures would reach 79 degrees. It was partly cloudy, fairly gusty.
The teen had two friends nearby – dropped off by a third friend in a van after they scouted their target. They knew what Marvell Weaver was going to do. They had discussed it.
Weaver approached his victim from behind, a black KL-800 Type Stun Gun in his pocket. It is capable of generating 1.8 million volts.
He passed him and turned back, pressed the stun gun into the victim’s side. Again and again, and … nothing. It had fired earlier when testing it, he would later tell police.
“The button was like stuck down … or something. I don’t know what caused it not to work,” according to a transcript of Weaver’s statement.
‘Please don’t kill me’
The intended victim moved quickly, pulling his stainless steel .40-caliber Smith and Wesson. It had a full 10-round magazine, and was worth about $900 police estimated.
He shot Weaver in his buttocks as the teen turned to flee.
“It happened so fast I wasn’t sure. I just know something was shoved into my side. I wasn’t sure if it was a knife, if it was anything,” he told police.
Weaver ran, sat down across the street, his leg going numb, bleeding. Pleading.
“‘I’m sorry, please don’t kill me, I don’t know why I did that, I’m high you know, I just wanna go home,’” the teen told the man who had just shot him.
The man called 911. He told the dispatcher the teen was “terminally wounded” and that he was a concealed pistol holder.
“Did you shoot him?” the dispatcher asks, sounding incredulous.
This is a recording of the 911 call. The audio breaks off as the man deals with events, but his father also calls police.
A witness told police the man stayed by the teen and appeared supportive and non-threatening.
The teen was hospitalized with a non-life threatening injury. At first, Weaver said he merely removed the stun gun from his pocket to look at it and the man shot him. He later confessed to the attack, records show.
Police asked for an attempted robbery warrant. The prosecutor authorized a lesser charge, illegal possession of a stun gun, a maximum two-year felony. A plea-bargain conference was scheduled for last Wednesday, but postponed until Sept. 4. The teen is free on bond.
‘I don’t blame you’
Ingham County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Lisa McCormick said there was no evidence to prove Weaver intended to rob the victim. She also said an aggravated assault charge would not stick because it requires the victim to be seriously injured.
The felony stun-gun charge is more serious than simple assault, a 90-day misdemeanor, McCormick added.
On a potential plea deal for Weaver, she would only offer, “There’s been some discussion with the defense attorney, but nothing has been finalized.”
Whatever the outcome, the teen has written a letter apologizing to his victim.
“I don’t blame you for what you did. You were only trying to protect yourself. I only wish I could go back to change it to were (sic) I never did it.”
“Im very sorry,” he closes at the letter’s end.
The hand-scrawled note is written on one-page of lined binder paper. The printed apology is at least five times larger than the rest of the words.
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