Gomez
Gomez

A York City teenager who fatally shot another did so in self-defense, according to his prosecutor, who dropped murder charges.

Flair Lamont Griggs, now 17, was 16 years old when he fatally shot Joseph Gomez Jr. in the parking lot of McDonald's, 142 S. Queen St., at 1:10 p.m. April 13, York City Police have said.

Gomez was 17 at the time.

As part of a negotiated plea agreement, Griggs pleaded guilty in adult court Monday to possessing a firearm without a license and reckless endangerment.

He was sentenced to three to seven years in state prison.

Self-defense: "It was about as perfect a self-defense claim as you can have," chief deputy prosecutor David Maisch said. "This was a just result."

Griggs
Griggs

Gomez pulled his gun first, the prosecutor said, and Griggs had nowhere to flee.

Security video from McDonald's and witness accounts — including from three of the victim's friends — confirmed Griggs had a wall behind him, vehicles on either side of him and Gomez and his associates surrounding him, Maisch said.

There was bad blood between the teens, according to the prosecutor, who declined to elaborate. He confirmed there were reports that at least one of the teens had previously fired at the other.

Gomez, of South Howard Avenue, suffered multiple gunshot wounds, according to the York County Coroner's Office.


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Victim fired, too: Before being killed, he fired at least two bullets from the stolen handgun he was carrying, police said at the time, but apparently no one was hit by those bullets.

One bullet casing from Gomez's gun was found on the ground, and the second was found jammed in the weapon, which had been stolen from Virginia Beach, Va., police said.

Previously shot: It wasn't the first time the teen was shot. On Dec. 23, 2012, Gomez was shot in the right hip, according to police, but he refused to tell police who shot him.

Defense attorney Bill Graff said his client is fine with the deal, and has about a year of credit for time he's already served.

While in prison, Griggs will be eligible for an anti-gang, anti-drug program for juveniles, according to the attorney.

"He's not a bad kid," Graff said.

'Needs to stop': Monday's guilty plea is the third juvenile-related homicide Maisch has handled since August, the prosecutor said.

"There have been too many gun-related incidents with juveniles over the years," he said. "It's something that needs to stop."

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.