GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The man initially charged with aggravated assault in the shooting of a young girl spoke said he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, emphasizing that he did not pull the trigger.
Don’Tedrique Magee was initially arrested and charged with aggravated assault in the March 8 shooting of a 16-year-old girl. Those charges were just dropped and he was released from jail, although he still faces a felony charge of hindering prosecution.
Magee walked out of the Harrison County jail Monday night to cheers and applause from his family. He says he didn’t know the teenager who was shot but tells us he was threatened and feared for his life after witnessing what happened that night.
“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and that just hurt my soul so bad to be convicted of that and, especially, all of the blood," he said. "Man, that just hurt my soul.”
Police said Magee did not tell them the truth or give them all of the information about the shooting, which is why he is now charged with hindering prosecution. Stressing that he did not pull the trigger, Magee said he feared for his life and that of his loved ones if he told police any information about the real shooter.
“There’s a culture where we’re from that says you don’t talk, and sometimes people will come to you and say you see certain things and give you that point like don’t talk," said the 20-year-old’s father Bishop Roy Magee. "And these can be violent people. And, I think that’s what happened in my son’s instance. Some very violent people kind of somewhat threatened him.”
The younger Magee says that culture of crime is spread throughout Gulfport, adding that guns are all over the streets.
“Guns are like everything in the world I’m living in," he said. "It’s just like you gotta have a gun everywhere you go. I mean, I don’t know why but I guess you feel safe that way. And then it just leads to stupid stuff happening.”
A 17-year-old is now charged with aggravated assault in the shooting. Latavion Bland is being charged as an adult and is in police custody. Two other teens are charged with hindering prosecution, as well.
As of Monday morning, the mother of the 16-year-old girl who was shot said she was still alive. We are working to get an update on her status.