Surveillance video of the shooting shows Alston being attacked from behind by two women. She was repeatedly punched before she pulled a gun from her purse. One woman came back in Alston’s direction, she fired two more times… Striking the woman in the hand and leg. Alston’s attorney says she was acting in self-defense.
The attempted murder charge were dropped however she is still being charged with aggravated assault after pursuing her attackers.
ONLY ON 4 – video of the shooting inside Walmart in North Versailles – and the planned attack on the shooter that triggered her opening fire. Was it self-defense? #WTAE at 6 pic.twitter.com/WGsV9QjLuZ
— Bob Mayo (@BMayo_WTAE) July 18, 2019
According to wtae4 Alston was the victim of a targeted assault seconds before she drew her weapon. Allegheny County police Detective Patrick Kinavey testified about the circumstances while presenting Walmart surveillance camera video during the preliminary hearing for defendant Rojaanai Alston on Thursday.
Deputy District Attorney Ilan Zur withdrew a charge of attempted homicide before the hearing but Alston was held for trial on a charge of aggravated assault.
“She didn’t pick this location, she didn’t pick this place and she didn’t pick the fight, and she did nothing wrong,” said Ken Haber, her defense attorney.
“She was cold-cocked in the head, not once, not twice, but at least three times, and then they attempted to drag her to the ground. And if she didn’t have a firearm on her to disperse her two assailants, I don’t know if my client would even be alive right now,” Haber said.
Alston initially fired five shots. But seconds later, when the woman who threw the first punch comes back in Alston’s direction, Alston fired two more times, shooting the woman in a finger and an upper thigh.
“Self defense is a situation where you’re in danger of death or serious bodily injury, and she clearly was at one point. But after she pulled that gun out and they ran away, that danger is now over,” said Zur, who said that at that point, Altson committed aggravated assault.
“We’re not unsympathetic…
The way the law is written you cannot pursue or shoot someone if they are fleeing. We feel the charges should be dropped quit protecting criminals. If they want to play the stupid games they deserve the stupid prizes.