Tyaaron Harris has been arrested on murder charges after fatally shooting another man in an altercation. According one witness, however, the shooting was a cut-and-dry case of self-defense.
Cierra White told reporters she was sitting on her back porch in Webster Groves, Mo., when she saw a fight break out involving one of her neighbors. She stated that Harris, her neighbor, had an ongoing dispute with Laron Taylor.
Taylor and about 14 other men approached Harris and began kicking and beating him. White later said Harris drew his gun as he fell to the ground and opened fire on Taylor.
“They beat him, they began punching him and stomping him — all kind of things,” White said. “He was beginning to fall to the ground, and as he was falling, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a weapon, and he actually shot and happened to hit one of the guys in the chest.”
Police arrived on the scene and Taylor was rushed to the hospital where the surgery proved unsuccessful. Taylor died a day after the shooting.
The police have charged Harris with second-degree murder and armed criminal action following Taylor’s death. He is being held on a $100,000 bail.
White’s testimony does a lot to exonerate the shooter, but we have yet to hear statements from the 14 other men who were allegedly present at the scene. As an apparently neutral observer, though, White’s testimony might carry more weight than all of the testimonies from the 14 men.
What are your thoughts about the confrontation? Does this sound like a perfectly justified instance of self-defense to you? Did the police officers make the right move by throwing Harris in cuffs?