My name is Marcus Weldon. I’m a 28-year old native of the city of Detroit, a college student, a hard-working single father and an aspiring author. I would like to take this time to share my story with you.
Just a couple of years ago, my life exemplified a responsible, success-driven young man. I served on Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s Recreational Advisory Board. I was mentoring young men through a program with the former Detroit Mayor, Dave Bing. I was a proud father who had recently been granted full custody of my 7-year-old daughter. In school, I was learning to be a skilled tradesman, which was supporting my growth as a building engineer at a casino in downtown Detroit. In my spare time, I would teach kids hands-on applications of skilled trades through non-profit organizations. I loved the direction that I was heading in with these leadership opportunities.
I was also delving into the entrepreneurial realm, alongside my mentor (and now partner), trying to get a new product for dogs on the market. We were set to be the first to bring “athletic apparel to the pet industry” with our LaGuard Fitness Vests. I was so proud to be on the edge of innovation with a veterinarian-recommended, multifunctional product that would serve the dog-loving community very well.
All in all, I was earning respect in the community and being the responsible citizen I thought every young, American man should be. However, much of this changed five days before Christmas 2014 and my promising future was compromised.
After a long night of working at a Christmas party, a female friend and I had an encounter with two Arabic men at a gas station; an encounter that has changed my life completely. After an altercation ensued between one of the strange men and my friend, I needed to step in and protect her. Ultimately, I was shot at by both men, which required me to use deadly force of my own. I discharged several rounds from my handgun in self-defense, injuring both of the assailants. My attempt to protect her from harm almost destroyed my life.
Even though I was legally licensed to carry a gun and acted purely in self-defense, I was treated like a criminal and labeled the “SANTA SHOOTER”, which made the New York Times in 2014. During this time, I reached out to numerous civil rights activists for support and advice. However, to my surprise, most of them stayed away from my story, presumably because I did not fall victim to the attack. My story didn’t fit their agenda.
After being charged with 7 felonies and facing life in prison, one can only ask, “why was my 2nd Amendment right violated?” “Why did the system press charges and try to coerce me into taking a plea deal when they knew they had a weak case?” Although I beat all 7 felonies in trial, all odds were against me. Two police officers were caught lying on the stand and the prosecutor withheld exonerating evidence (such as the 911 audio tape and surveillance video).
Eventually, the surveillance video was released and it helped me win my case. It shows the driver appearing to be discarding a gun in the dumpster.
The urban community is under attack by anti-gun prosecutors like Kim Worthy here in Detroit. I want to share my story with the hopes of educating the urban community on gun rights and informing them of the legal protection available for CPL holders. I was interviewed by all of the local Detroit media stations after my acquittal (Google “Marcus Weldon the Santa Shooter”) and I want to continue to spread awareness through various mediums.
Additionally, I’m reaching out to some publishing companies for my book, which will be completed this year. Last July, I began documenting my experiences in the form of a manuscript and plan on releasing my book for 2017.
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