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‘He’s Been Portrayed as a Villain’: Black Texas Man Was Charged with Murder Until Surveillance Footage Revealed He Acted In Self-Defense Against Crazed Asian Driver Pointing a Gun 

Before video footage and 911 audio were released of a Fort Worth, Texas, shooting, authorities believed four Black men were the aggressors in a road rage shooting that left an Asian businessman dead.

However, the footage and calls show that Jin Shin loaded his gun and pointed it at a group of people near a car that he had just hit in a minor accident.

The other driver’s friend, Markynn West, 28, fired to protect the group from the assailant’s bullets, killing Shin.

“I knew he was drunk. I was helping him. We were talking. He handed me his phone at a point, and I handed it back,” said West, who was arrested in September.

West and three other men were charged with murder for the Aug. 15 shooting. Keeton Sheppard, Quamon White and Kameron Taylor were also arrested for the early morning incident, but now six months later all of the men have been cleared of the murder charges. Sheppard and White still face misdemeanor offenses for assault.

Police initially said that the minor accident between Shin’s Jeep and a Hyundai led to an argument between the business owner and the group of eight people.

Authorities claim footage they obtained showed Shin trying to keep his distance as things begin to escalate, but he ended up being surrounded and assaulted.

Someone from the group hit him and took his keys, they said. Police acknowledged that Shin had a weapon in his hand but said he kept it pointed down.

According to a Dec. 7 Fort Worth Star-Telegram report, police said in West’s arrest warrant that the video showed him going to a vehicle to get a weapon while Shin ran away. Police said West shot Shin multiple times, but the warrant did not state that the businessman fired his gun.

Yet, newly released surveillance camera footage shows Shin walking toward the group of people gathering near four vehicles lined up near an intersection and pointing his gun as they scatter. One woman appears to be on a phone as she seeks refuge in the Hyundai that was involved in the accident with Shin.

911 Operator: “Fort Worth Police what is the location you’re calling about?”

Caller: “He got a gun. He got a gun. He hit us from the back, and he got a gun.”

911 Operator: “What is your location? What is your location?”

Caller: “At University, he is shooting at us!”

While everyone else tried to get out of harm’s way, the surveillance video shows West firing at Shin, who had loaded his gun on the sidewalk, according to cellphone footage.

Even though a grand jury initially indicted West on the murder charge, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office under new leadership dropped the charge on Friday after reviewing the video and audio evidence presented by the man’s defense attorney.

Lesa Pamplin said her client was called to the scene by the other driver to calm the situation. A source close to the investigation reportedly told WFAA that Shin had elevated blood alcohol levels and a trace of other drugs in his system. The other motorist made a frantic call to 911 right after the accident.

Caller: “The man is drunk, and he’s doing a lot. He’s in the middle of the street, and he is trying to drive off. If y’all could hurry up, that would be great.”

911 Operator: “Yes, ma’am, we already have officers en route to you.”

Shin was known as an advocate in the Asian community who owned Family Karaoke in Dallas.

His family disagrees with the district attorney’s decision to dismiss the case on the basis of self-defense. They argue that Shin’s life was also in imminent danger.

“Before any gun was involved, a minor fender bender early in the morning led to that car of 3 women to call 5 other people for ‘back up,’’ a statement on a GoFundMe page for Shin’s family states.

The online fundraiser has garnered more than $100,000 in donations.

The family states that Shin’s killing is another case of an anti-Asian hate crime, which has increased after the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Jin was hardworking, smart, a loving son and amazing friend with a philanthropic heart that would pretty much do anything for anyone,” the statement says. “I know I’ll miss his smile and laugh and all the witty jokes he would make.”

Pamplin said public pressure from the Asian community prompted authorities to rush the investigation.

“It was a pressure campaign put on to smear my client,” Pamplin told Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “That community wanted a hate crime, and so they tried to give them a hate crime.”

However, West lost his job and had to sell his car to cover his bills because of the criminal case.

West’s cousin, Kendra Richardson, a Fort Worth community activist, said Shin’s family defamed and harass him online. She is also raising money for West to restart his life.

“He’s been portrayed as a villain,” Pamplin said. “He’s been portrayed as a bad guy. When in actuality he saved some women’s life that night.”
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