OCALA, Fla. - Charges are not being pressed by the State Attorney's Office in a fatal shooting that claimed the life of a Marion County teenager.
In December 2020, the Ocala Police Department said that a shooting happened at the Sutton Place Apartments. The victim, identified as Chris Chevelon Jr., reportedly received life-saving measures by the Ocala Police Department until paramedics arrived. He was transported to a local hospital, where he ultimately succumbed to his injuries.
A witness heard the gunshots as her 8-year-old son was playing outside. She said she ran out and saw her child running toward her. She also saw the teenagers who were with Chevelon Jr. running from the scene.
"He ended up being the only one that didn’t run across to my house area. As he didn’t run across to my house area, he kind of stood," she said. "And everybody started coming out their door because no more gunshots. Then, he tumbled and that’s how it all ended."
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Police explained that a vehicle with occupants inside confronted Chevelon Jr. and his friends who were walking outside in the complex when shots were fired from the vehicle.
One person was arrested: a juvenile witness was charged with felony evidence tampering. The witness admitted to taking the firearm from the shooting scene.
On Wednesday, June 9, FOX 35 obtained a memo from the State Attorney's Office that said that they are not pressing charges against anyone in this case.
"As it stands, the State is unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the identity of the person who shot the victim," the memo stated. While the identity of the driver of a vehicle spotted on surveillance video and its occupants were made, it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt that they fired shots at the victim.
"Even if the identity of the shooter could be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, the shooter would legally be entitled to argue that he or she acted in self-defense or in defense of others," the memo added.
As a result, "the State cannot meet its burden in proving the identity of the shooter beyond a reasonable doubt, nor can it prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooter was not in fear of his or her life, or the life of another, when he or she fired the shot which caused the victim's death; therefore, no criminal charges can be filed at this time."
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