DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – After arresting a man for shooting another rider aboard a DART train Wednesday evening, a DART spokesman said Thursday they released the shooter after finding he acted in self defense.
DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said, “After talking with some of the witnesses, talking to the person who did the shooting, we decided not to file charges. However, this has been referred to the Dallas grand jury.”
DART Police identified the man who fired his handgun as Malcolm Skinner.
Lyons said Skinner is licensed to carry.
He declined an interview and to make any comment Thursday afternoon except to say that he hired an attorney.
In a video posted to YouTube Wednesday evening, Skinner is seen and heard moments after the shooting. “I emptied the gun.”
He said he was very scared.
Lyons said witnesses told police that the incident began when the man he shot was harassing two women on the train.
One of them got off the train. The other switched seats with Skinner to give her more distance.
DART says that’s when the man got into an argument with Skinner, then a fight and then went after him.
The agency did not identify the victim but said he was still being treated by a Dallas hospital after being shot in the chest and legs.
DART had no information on his condition.
Robert Larash said he takes DART several times a week and defends Skinner. “If you feel your life is threatened, and you have a concealed carry permit, your life is on the line, you got to do what you got to do I guess.”
Another DART rider, Phantazia Garrett agreed. “Self defense, then I believe that he should just go free. Everyone has the right to defend themselves.”
At the time of the shooting, DART says there was not a security officer aboard the train.
Garrett said, “They need to be on there more often because if someone was on there, then it would never have happened.”
Lyons said the agency is getting closer to having either a police officer, or a security officer, or a fare enforcement officer aboard each train.
And just this week, Lyons said the transit agency presented its board a plan to boost officer presence on their trains and buses even further. “That would actually provide additional coverage so if an officer had to leave a train for some reason, there would be some additional support to keep some presence aboard the train.”
Larash rides DART often and says he usually sees a DART officer. “They’re very prevalent, they’re around. It doesn’t change the way I feel about it at all. I’ll still ride it every other day.”