Lawyer: Santa shooter defends friend
Detroit — A 26-year-old man charged after shooting two men while wearing a Santa Claus suit at a Detroit gas station was trying to defend himself and a female coworker, the man’s attorney said in court Tuesday.
“He felt he was in danger,” said Gabi Silver, defense attorney for Marcus Allen Weldon.
“He was trying to protect himself and the woman he was assisting.” His female coworker was dressed as Mrs. Claus, Silver said.
Weldon was arraigned in 36th District Court Tuesday on two counts of assault with intent to murder, two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, two counts of felonious assault and felony firearm. He pleaded not guilty.
Around 1:55 a.m. Sunday at the Speedway gas station in the 700 block of Jefferson Weldon allegedly shot a male patron after a heated verbal exchange, according to the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office. The shots wounded the man and a passenger in his car.
Weldon fled, but police arrested him in the 400 block of Congress.
The shooting victims were taken to a local hospital. One remains hospitalized while the other has been released.
Weldon, an electrical engineer apprentice at MGM Grand Casino, left work with his coworker just before going to the gas station, Silver said. Weldon was dressed as Santa Claus for a Remy Martin event.
Before the shooting, the men, unknown to Weldon and his coworker, assaulted the woman, pushing her, Silver said.
Weldon was licensed to carry a concealed weapon at the time of the shooting, Silver said.
Weldon received a $50,000, 10 percent bond. He returns to court for a preliminary examination Jan. 5 before 36th District Court Judge Michael Wagner.