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The owner of an Ypsilanti meat company who fatally shot a robber in the head Wednesday in Eastern Market will not face charges, authorities said.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office said the 35-year-old owner of Marshall Johnson's Wholesale Meats, who has a concealed pistol license, acted in lawful self-defense.

"He had an honest and reasonable belief that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent imminent death and/or great bodily harm to himself or another person. For this reason the warrant has been denied," officials said. 

The incident occurred at 10:20 a.m. near Interstate 75 Service Drive and Riopelle Street, according to prosecutors. 

An officer patrolling the area heard a gunshot and when he arrived at the scene, he found Edward J. Ross, 58, of Detroit, lying face down in the street.

The 35-year-old business owner was standing nearby and told the officer that he shot the Ross, who died of a single gunshot wound.

Police reported Ross was inside a truck stealing boxes of meat with another man. There was a scuffle between the men and the truck driver and the business owner witnessed it.

The business owner, who was armed with a handgun, believed Ross was reaching for a weapon and shot him.

"Ross moved his hand behind his back as though he was reaching for a weapon and the 35-year-old man shot him," according to a statement from the prosecutor's office. "The other man who was taking meat from the truck fled the scene on foot. 911 was called immediately and the 35-year-old man and his co-worker waited for the police."

The 63-year-old driver who had fought with one of the suspects was shot in the leg and was expected to survive. 

srahal@detroitnews.com

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