Way back in late April, local and national reporters couldn't get their pens and microphones together fast enough when word broke that Colts wide receiver Marvin Harrison was linked to a North Philadelphia shooting. When the case failed to develop -- that is, when Harrison was never charged and the police publicly never mentioned him as suspect or person of interest -- the story faded away.
Guess who's back.
I started rooting around a few weeks ago to see if anything new was brewing in the case. Presto:
Marvin Harrison’s life just got more complicated.
The NFL star — who was linked to a springtime North Philadelphia shooting that left one man wounded — is now being sued by the alleged victim, Dwight Dixon.
Harrison was never charged with the April 29 shooting, which occurred after he and Dixon exchanged blows near an auto garage shop that Harrison owns on Thompson Street near 25th, according to police sources.
The case is still considered an open investigation, said Assistant District Attorney Christopher Diviny.
While Harrison, 36, admitted to members of Central Detectives that he was involved in the fight, he insisted he had nothing to do with the shooting, the sources said.
His handlers maintained his innocence during the ensuing media firestorm. The case eventually stopped generating headlines, and Harrison went back to his lucrative day job as a wide receiver for the Indianapolis Colts.
But over time, the investigation uncovered evidence that seemed to point back in Harrison’s direction:
*Harrison and Dixon squabbled for two weeks prior to the shooting after they exchanged words in Harrison’s bar, Playmakers, on 28th Street near Cambridge.
*Ballistics tests proved shell casings found at the shooting scene were fired from Harrison’s gun, a Belgian-made FN5.7, law enforcement sources said.
*Detectives found the firearm in Harrison’s garage on Thompson Street.
*Witnesses and Dixon separately identified Harrison as the shooter, the sources said.
The lawsuit, which was filed Sept. 2, is worded in a way that would find Harrison liable regardless of the outcome of the criminal investigation.
“The defendant intentionally and outrageously shot the plaintiff,” reads one portion of the lawsuit, while another section states Dixon, 32, was shot by someone else who used Harrison’s gun.
“Look, it’s our position that Marvin Harrison was the shooter,” said Robert M. Gamburg, Dixon’s attorney.
“But even if you believe the other theory, Marvin’s gun was still used in the shooting, so he was negligent for leaving the weapon where someone else could obtain it.”
I'll try to post the rest of the story up when I get in on Wednesday. Stay tuned!