Omar Brown, a Charleston police officer and candidate for mayor who was involved in a gas station shootout on Monday, was able to provide few details to reporters as he painfully stood before a the media on Thursday, still suffering from a bullet wound in his leg.
The story, as previously reported, was that Brown got into an argument with 22-year-old Antonio Rivers in the El Cheapo on Dorchester Road. Brown left and had gotten into his car when Rivers approached his car with a gun. Brown got out of his car with his off-duty weapon and began firing.
At Thursday’s press conference, Brown first said the altercation with Rivers began “through a course of unprovoked events.” He said that the man came toward his car, that he warned Rivers to stop, and then that “shots began to ring out.”
“The average citizen who would have been unarmed and wouldn’t have known what to do would have been a fatality for simply trying to buy a Pepsi and two snack cakes,” Brown said.
When pressed on the issue of whether he shot at Rivers first, Brown responded that, “No one should wait until they’re shot or dead. If you go to shoot someone, they should defend themselves.”
When asked if the man aimed the gun at him, Brown reiterated that the man “presented the weapon.” He then stated that Rivers fired first, but Brown’s lawyer, Craig Jones Jr., quickly interjected that things were happening fast and that Brown doesn’t recall all of the details.
“This was instantaneous,” he says. “The distance was enough that it was an eminent threat” Jones stressed that Brown didn’t respond until the gun was raised up.