Ballistics tests show that a handgun owned by Indianapolis Colts star Marvin Harrison was used in an April shooting, but charges have not been filed because no one will say who pulled the trigger, the city’s chief prosecutor said Tuesday.
Five of the six bullet casings found at the North Philadelphia shooting scene came from the wide receiver’s weapon, District Attorney Lynne Abraham said.
The investigation into the April 28 shooting remains open, Abraham said.
“It’s not enough to say that a gun fired a bullet,” Abraham said. “I’m not prepared to say who fired the gun.” She added that she thinks she knows who the gunman was but doesn’t have the evidence to prove it.
The victim has sued Harrison, and law enforcement will be keeping tabs on that proceeding to see if any new evidence emerges that could help the criminal investigation, Abraham said.
Harrison’s attorney, Jerome Brown, declined to comment Tuesday. The receiver’s agent, Tom Condon, said he hadn’t talked to his client about the matter in some time but remained confident Harrison had done nothing wrong.
“Marvin asserted that he hadn’t done anything and that he was not involved,” Condon said. “I was confident that Marvin wasn’t involved.”
The shooting happened near a North Philadelphia garage and car wash owned by Harrison, about a half-mile from a bar he also owns.
The district attorney on Tuesday detailed how investigators got differing accounts from various witnesses.
When questioned by police, Harrison said he was at the garage at the time of the shooting. He said he knew the victim, Dwight Dixon, and that the two had been in a fist fight two weeks earlier after Dixon tried to enter his bar with a gun, Abraham said.
Harrison said his gun had been at his suburban home on the day of the shooting and that it had not been fired since it was bought a year or two earlier, Abraham said.
One man said his 2-year-old son was struck by broken glass during the shooting, but has since refused to speak to police, Abraham said.
After the shooting, Dixon was admitted to a hospital with a wound to his hand. Initially, he gave hospital personnel a false name and told police he was shot while fighting off robbers in West Philadelphia, Abraham said. The next day, he told investigators he was shot by two hooded men at the North Philadelphia shooting scene.
Three days after the shooting, another man, Robert Nixon, claimed he was shot in the shoulder at the scene. Nixon told police of an argument and fist fight involving Harrison, Dixon and another man, but later admitted he made up many of the details, Abraham said.
Dixon sued Harrison in September, claiming he sustained “serious and permanent injuries” to his arm and body and a “severe shock” to his nervous system.
Harrison, a prep football star at Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High, has owned the bar, Playmakers, since July 2004, according to state records.
The 36-year-old receiver has played all of his 12 seasons with the Colts and is the franchise’s record-holder in every major receiving category. He is one of only four players in league history to top 1,000 receptions.
Colts president Bill Polian lauded Abraham’s decision not to file charges at this time.
“We are pleased with this development and defer to her ability to weigh the actual evidence,” he said in a statement. “It would not be appropriate for us to have further comment at this time.”
The San Diego Chargers eliminated the Colts in the first round of the NFL playoffs on Saturday, but Abraham said that had nothing to do with the timing of Tuesday’s news conference.