A Black FedEx employee will not face any criminal charges after delivering a fatal punch to a man who shouted racial slurs at him.
Oregon officials said Timothy Warren, who’s Black, acted in self-defense against Joseph Magnuson, 55, on Sept. 26 after responding to the man’s violent and “racist vitriol.” Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced on Monday that their investigation found no indication that Warren intended to kill Magnuson despite his death being ruled as a homicide, USA Today reported.
Warren was driving through a Portland neighborhood when Magnuson began shouting that the FedEx employee was driving his delivery truck too fast. The employee stepped out of the vehicle to “verbally challenge the manner in which Mr. Magnuson was addressing him.”
Witnesses, who told the DA’s office that Warren was driving at a safe speed, said the employee attempted to talk to Magnuson and appeared to be “exhausted” before the older man became aggressive, spewing racial slurs, and then punched Warren. Warren reportedly punched the man back “a single time above the left eye, which caused Mr. Magnuson to fall to the ground and briefly lose consciousness.”
Senior Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs wrote in a release that Magnuson’s death from the fall was due to “extremely poor health.” The injury he suffered from Warren’s punch was “superficial and not fatal.”
Officials said Warren had the legal right to confront Magnuson’s alleged abuse due to Oregon law not containing a “duty to retreat” provision that would have required Warren to remove himself from danger.
On Thursday, FexEx Ground issued the following statement regarding the incident, “FedEx Ground fully cooperated with law enforcement during the investigation of this unfortunate incident. We extend our condolences to all those affected.”
Warren’s employment status with the company is unclear.