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Fatal mall shooting defendant says he was hit by a purse

Fatal shooting
Posted at 9:05 PM, Jun 13, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-13 21:05:21-04

DUBLIN, Ohio — A man charged with murder in a shooting death at an Ohio mall over the weekend told authorities that he fired after he was hit in the head with a purse.

Columbus police were called to the Mall at Tuttle Crossing at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday and found a man inside a shoe store who had been shot. Authorities said 25-year-old Dontarious Sylvester was pronounced dead just after 3 p.m. Sunday.

Among the calls to 911 dispatchers seconds after multiple shots were fired inside the mall was a call from a person who identified himself as the gunman. The man, later identified as 24-year-old Tyrone Gray Jr., of Mansfield, said “a man assaulted me with his purse and I shot. I shot him.”

During the nearly 8 1/2-minute call to emergency dispatchers, he elaborated that the other man “just threw a purse at me, hit me in my face. He smacked me with a purse.”

Gray was taken into custody without incident and was charged with murder. Franklin County municipal court records indicate that he posted 10 percent of $50,000 bond Monday morning and was released from the county jail.