Looks like more details are emerging in the Schuylkyll River Trail shooting, and the Montgomery County DA is dropping the most serious charges:
As DePaul tried to get onto the bike trail in Conshohocken around 8:30 p.m., two juveniles on bikes reportedly blocked his path, officials said. Though DePaul was able to get around them, both juveniles followed him, according to the district attorney’s office.
After the teens passed the 27-year-old cyclist, the juveniles collided with each other, and as DePaul rode by them, they â€œexchanged wordsâ€ with him.
Soon after, the 17-year-old got back on his BMX bike and chased DePaul, police said. After catching up to him, the teen kicked DePaul, causing him to nearly lose control of his bike and hit a fence, police said.
DePaul admitted that he drew his Keltec .380-caliber handgun and fired six shots in the direction of the teen who had kicked him. One bullet struck and flattened the rear tire of the fleeing bicycle.
The juvenile was about 200 to 250 feet away at the time, authorities said. At the time of the incident, DePaul had a legal permit to carry the weapon.
So, the facts would appear to be that the kids were in the process of trying to rob DePaul of his bicycle, he attempted to flee, and they continued chase, then assaulted him.Â He drew a pistol, and they fled.Â Still not a clean shoot, but considerably more justifiable than the previous narrative.Â In essence, given multiple attackers, he was justified up until the point he fired.Â Had they not fled, I would argue the jury should walk him if the DA were bold enough to press charges.
I think this incident has cemented for me the utility of pepper spray, as this incident would be a really good example of a situation that it was useful.Â Had he sprayed them instead of fired, he would have been home that night drinking a beer on his patio, thinking about how good it felt to send the punks home crying to mommy, rather than trying to explain to police and DA why the shooting was justified.