OPD: Man justified in shooting of Vanguard High School student

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Jeffery Scott

Ocala Police Department Detectives have concluded that the shooting of Vanguard High School student Jeffery Scott and former Student Marcus Cooper, was justified.

The man who shot him, 54-year-old Edrige Rivers, will not be charged.

According to surveillance video, as well as multiple student witnesses, Scott was the first to pull a gun during the altercation.

Prior to the shooting, Scott was in a fight after a basketball game at Vanguard. Witnesses say the fighting that was initiated by Scott. Students also said it’s not the first time Scott has been involved in this type of off-campus activity.

Following the fight, two teens who were involved in that fight were sitting in their car at their friend house who had been badly beaten.

While the teens were parked in the 2200 block of Northwest First Avenue, a vehicle driven by Cooper, with Scott as the passenger, pulled up at the location.

Surveillance video shows that Scott immediately exited the vehicle, approached the car, and pulled a gun on one of the juveniles. Scott then began threatening to shoot the juvenile. Marcus then walked to the driver’s side and confronted the other juvenile.

Rivers was driving by as the confrontation was taking place.

Rivers saw that the two juveniles were being held and gunpoint, at which time Rivers ordered Scott to put his weapon down and leave.

Police said that Scott refused to comply.

Rivers then pulled his weapon and fired shots at Scott and Cooper.

Scott then returned fire, firing several shots at Rivers as he was moving his car away from the scene.

Scott was transported to a local hospital where he later died. As of Wednesday, Cooper remained in the hospital in serious condition.

Everyone involved in the incident was interviewed.

Due to the fact that surveillance video captured the entire incident and supported witness statements, Rivers was justified in his actions in protecting the life of another who was in imminent danger.

At this time, OPD cannot release the video. Once the State Attorney’s Office has reviewed and closed the investigation, the video will be released.

Sources say that Rivers had a concealed carry permit; however, OPD said they could not confirm this information at this time.

Police are still searching for the person who set fire to the house where the shooting occurred.

If you have any information, call the Ocala Police Department at 352-369-7000, Crime Stoppers at 368-STOP, or text 274637 using keyword 368-STOP. Tipsters can also visit www.ocalacrimestoppers.com. Anonymity is guaranteed.

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