June 30, 2022

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The Car & Automotive Devotees

Flint man claims self-defense in fatal shooting outside Sunoco gas station

6 min read

FLINT, MI – The attorney for a man accused of shooting and killing a 42-year-old man outside the Sunoco gas station on North Ballenger Highway and Flushing Road in March believes his client committed the act out of self-defense.

Archie Hayman represents Marquon L. Jackson, who is charged with open murder and felony firearm in the shooting death of Khogaly Mozzaffar in the early morning hours of March 15.

Appearing before Genesee County District Court Judge Christopher R. Odette Monday, May 2, for a preliminary examination, Odette bound Jackson’s case over to circuit court for trial but said there was barely enough evidence to show probable cause in doing so.

“I mean, when I say barely, I mean barely,” Odette said in binding the case over. “(There is) barely probable cause to believe that open murder occurred.”

Read more: Flint police ID man found shot to death outside Sunoco gas station

Open murder includes both first- and second-degree murder. Now that Jackson’s case is in circuit court, he can plead as charged, proceed to trial, or accept any plea agreement offered to him.

Preliminary examinations are essentially evidentiary hearings for felonies where prosecutors must present evidence amounting to at least probable cause that the charged crimes occurred and that the defendant committed them.

Prior to Odette binding Jackson’s case over, Hayman told him he does not dispute that his client shot and killed Mozzaffar, an incident that was captured on surveillance video and shown in court Monday. He does, however, question it being murder.

“My client’s actions were totally in self-defense,” Hayman said in court. “The instruction would indicate that he has an honest and reasonable belief that if he can suffer serious bodily injury and or death, that he’s allowed to use deadly force to protect himself.”

Related: 1 killed in early-morning shooting on Flint’s west side

Monday’s preliminary examination lasted about two hours, including testimony from four witnesses and also two clips from surveillance video at the Sunoco gas station where the shooting took place.

Misty Spencer, the lone cashier working at the Sunoco gas station on the morning of March 15, testified that she was working around 1 a.m. that day when the shooting took place.

Spencer said it was a slow night customer-wise. She noticed someone – later identified as Mozzaffar – had parked directly in front of the gas station’s front door with their vehicle still running and the driver’s door ajar. Spencer said this piqued her interest because that is typically the behavior of someone about to rob a store or commit a snatch and run.

When Mozzaffar entered the store, Spencer said she saw him take a bag of pistachios from a shelf, open it and begin eating the nuts. When Spencer confronted Mozzaffar about stealing, she said he became verbally aggressive toward her.

“He said, ‘I’m not going to pay for s***, b****,’” he said, according to Spencer, who said he then told her she’d have to call the police to get him to leave.

While Spencer was on the phone, Mozzaffar walked closer, eventually standing in front of the checkout. He began throwing pistachios at the cashier.

Another customer, a woman, walked into the store. Spencer said she left the store after saying she forgot her EBT card.

Jackson was the next person to enter the store, according to Spencer. He grabbed some snacks and drinks and approached the checkout.

Surveillance video from the store shown in court shows the two men at the checkout point in the store, with Spencer behind the cash register, on the phone. At one point, Mozzaffar appears to throw a handful of pistachios at Jackson, who jumped back.

Spencer’s testimony indicates that Jackson showed Mozzaffar a handgun holstered on his right hip. When Mozzaffar moved toward Jackson, the defendant moved back again and pulled out his gun.

“The deceased continued towards Mr. Jackson. At that point, I picked up the phone and called 911 immediately because there was a gun pointed,” Spencer said. “He continued towards Mr. Jackson. He said, ‘Please stay back, please stay back,’ before drawing his gun.”

The video shows the two standing about 12 feet apart before Jackson walks behind another shelf over items toward the front door. With his gun still aimed at Mozzaffar, he exits the gas station. But Mozzaffar follows him out of the building.

Additional surveillance video taken from outside the building shows the shooting. As Jackson leaves the store, he walks backward to the right. Mozzaffar comes out of the building soon after, facing Jackson the entire time.

The two continue to stare each other down, exchanging words, before Mozzaffar turns his body slightly.

Spencer testified that she heard Mozzaffar tell Jackson, “I’ve got something for you,” before reaching his left hand into the front seat of his vehicle. Jackson opens fire while running away, shooting Mozzaffar and also shooting his vehicle. Spencer said she heard 12 shots.

Cherkeetha Love was on her way home after picking up her son from a late shift at the McDonald’s fast-food restaurant at the corner of North Ballenger Highway and Hatherly Avenue when she said she heard several gunshots. Then she saw a man running west from the Sunoco gas station. He was holding a gun.

Love described driving her vehicle with her two sons in it to the gas station, where she noticed a vehicle with the back window shattered. A former nurse, she wanted to see if she could be of any help.

“I opened his door, and I said, ‘Are you okay?’” she said. “He said, ‘I’m shot.’ I said, ‘Where?’ He pointed to me where I guess where it hurt mostly.”

Love said she was wearing a robe at the time, so she removed the string from her robe to use as a tourniquet for the bleeding man. She said that while she tried communicating with the man, a woman from inside the store was yelling at her.

“(She was) like, ‘Don’t help him, don’t help him. He got a gun,’” Love testified. “But I continued to help him. I said, ‘Nobody deserves to die.’”

Love said she asked Mozzaffar if he had a gun. She said he said no. She stayed with him until paramedics arrived.

Sgt. Craig Winnie of the Michigan State Police was at the MSP Flint Post in Flint Township finishing up some paperwork when he got the call of a shooting at Ballenger Highway and Flushing Road.

Along with another trooper, Winnie said he responded to the scene and noticed a man walking toward the gas station from a sidewalk on Flushing Road. He had his hands raised above his head.

“I exited the vehicle. I asked him if he was giving up, and he said, ‘Yes,’” Winnie testified. “As we got closer, he had his hands up in the air still, you could see a gun in his waistband. So, I drew my firearm and gave him directions to go to the ground, and he complied.”

The trooper who was with Winnie handcuffed Jackson and officers with the Flint Police Department took the firearm. It was a Glock .26 with one round in the chamber.

Jackson had a license to carry a concealed firearm, according to Det. Trp. Keith Bieganski, a member of the Flint Major Case Unit and the lead detective in the case.

Bieganski testified that he interviewed Spencer, Love, and Jackson the night of the shooting.

He also said no gun was ever found inside Mozzaffar’s vehicle.

Read more at The Flint Journal:

Attorney wants Flint man accused of shooting at officers with assault rifle to get competency evaluation

Flint man in critical condition after Monday morning shooting

Man in custody after fatal stabbing on Flint’s east side early Friday

https://www.mlive.com/news/flint/2022/05/flint-man-claims-self-defense-in-fatal-shooting-outside-sunoco-gas-station.html