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The Man Beyoncé's Super Bowl Dancers Sought 'Justice For' Had Complicated History

| by Kathryn Schroeder

The stabbing victim of Mario Woods, the man featured on Beyoncé’s backup dancer's "justice for" sign at the Super Bowl, has come forward to tell his side of what happened the day Woods was shot by San Francisco, California police officers.

Marcel Gardner, was attacked and stabbed on Dec. 2, 2015, minutes before Woods, 26, was shot 20 times by police officers, MailOnline reports.

Gardner, an unemployed technical engineer, believes it was Woods who was carrying a kitchen knife and stabbed him.

He said Woods circled his car “like a shark” and appeared to be high on drugs when he stabbed him in his left arm.

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Gardner admits to smoking marijuana with two women, with one of their children present, when Woods attacked him. He said the women were with him for the sole purpose of smoking marijuana and he has not been able to trace their whereabouts since then, nor does he know their names.

“I had just met the women who wanted to smoke some weed with me,” Gardner told MailOnline. "I was chilling in my car and looking at my iPad, looking for jobs and playing videos.”

All four were in the car when Woods, “high” and “agitated and just a little bit paranoid,” approached the vehicle:

He was just muttering and then in one minute he started zoning in on the car. I couldn't make out what he was saying.

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He was shouting and screaming and said: "You had better get away from here. This is my block."

Then he started circling the car like a shark and the girls began tripping out.

They were on their phones and one girl was talking to her baby daddy and about what he was going to do and I guess he heard it.

Gardner says he then got out of the car and asked Woods what was happening, but the knife was already out:

He ran up on me and tried to swing on me towards my chest and neck area. Most of the time I was trying to dodge his movements with the knife.

I tried to land a punch and I felt a nick in my arm. I didn't realize anything until I started feeling this leaking sensation down my elbow. My shirt just turned red and I could see the blood coming out.

I was looking around for something to knock the knife out of his hand as I knew now I was down to defending myself with one arm.

He was saying "I am going to poke the s--- out of you" as he came for me. Then he said: "If you hit me again I am going to poke you again."'

Gardner managed to escape Woods by running to an alley. One of the girls moved the car so he could get back inside.

“[Woods] jumped out in the middle of the street with the knife in his hand. The girls were screaming like lunatics,” Gardner said.

Gardner and the women drove to San Francisco Hospital to have his wound treated.

Four blocks away, Woods was cornered by police officers. Someone had called 911.

Responding officers reported they tried to stop Woods with beanbag rounds and pepper spray, but he would not drop the knife as commanded.

Five officers then shot at Woods.

According to the autopsy report, Woods had 20 clear bullet wounds, including in his head, back, abdomen, buttocks, legs and hands, and one additional “probable gunshot graze wound” to his right cheek, SF Gate reports.

There were at least 27 bullet-shell casings found at the scene.

John Burris, the attorney who filed a civil rights lawsuit against the San Francisco police on behalf of Woods' family, said the number gunshot wounds confirms his view that the shooting was excessive, especially since most of the bullets were in his back.

Police officers found the autopsy report to “corroborate facts gathered by investigators in the aftermath of this tragic incident.”

According to a blood toxicology exam, Woods had methamphetamine, marijuana, cough medicine, antidepressants, caffeine and nicotine in his system at the time of his death.

Sources: MailOnline, SF Gate / Photo credit: MailOnline

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