Saturday, November 8, 2008

Alabama: Shot teens attended Vigor, police say

Mobile, Alabama

From the Press-Register of November 4, 2008
Shot teens attended Vigor, police say

Two teens shot during a robbery attempt Friday apparently followed their victim to his home after seeing him withdraw money from an ATM miles away, police said.

Seventeen-year-old Antonio Austin was killed in the confrontation. Nineteen-year-old Robert Howez was shot in the back and taken to the University of South Alabama Medical Center, where he was listed in fair condition Monday.

Howez will face a charge of first-degree robbery upon his release, authorities said.

Both teens were listed as students at Vigor High School, said Deputy Chief James Barber.

Barber declined to identify the 60-year-old man who was the alleged robbery target, saying the man does not currently face criminal charges in the shooting, which has been characterized by Mobile County District Attorney John Tyson Jr. as a case of self-defense.

Police have also questioned two other teens investigators believe were in a car just down the street from the attempted robbery, Barber said.

The car left the area when the shooting started, according to police.

Investigators were still trying to determine what role the people in the car might have had in the robbery, Barber said.

"We don't have probable cause to charge them at this point," he said. He declined to release the names of those two teens or what schools they attend because they haven't been charged.

The attempted robbery, according to police accounts, occurred like this:

The man was returning to his home on West Belvedere Circle, near Hank Aaron Stadium, shortly after 6 p.m. Friday when, as he was getting out of his car, he was accosted by two teenagers, one armed with a revolver.

The armed teen demanded that the man hand over the money from the ATM. Instead, he drew his own pistol and opened fire.

Howez could face a murder charge in Austin's death even though he didn't fire the shot that killed him, Barber said, as Alabama law allows criminals to be held liable for the death of an accomplice killed in the commission of a violent felony.

"That will be a question for the district attorney," Barber said.

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