Patrick McCullough, the Oakland man who shot a 16-year-old boy in the arm during a fight outside his house last month, will not face criminal charges, Assistant District Attorney James Lee said Wednesday.
“We are unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Patrick McCullough did not act in self-defense when he fired his weapon striking Melvin McHenry,” Lee wrote in a prepared statement.
Furthermore, Lee said since McCullough was on his own property during the incident, he couldn’t file charges on weapons possession.
McHenry will also not be charged, though some neighbors demanded that he face assault charges for attacking McCullough.
The Feb. 18 incident caused a firestorm in McCullough’s North Oakland neighborhood, where McCullough is a member of a citizen anti-crime group that works closely with Oakland police. According to McCullough, McHenry, backed by 14 other youths, called him a snitch, attacked him and then asked his friend for a pistol before McCullough reached for his.
Ivan Golde, McHenry’s attorney, insisted that McCullough instigated the incident and that McHenry never reached for a gun.
“Basically the DA’s office threw its hands up because it’s a politically unpopular case,” Golde said. He added that McHenry planned to press ahead with a civil case against McCullough.
Fearing for McCullough’s safety after the incident, Oakland officials have agreed to let McCullough out of his shared equity mortgage with the city for his house at 59th Street and Shattuck Avenue as long as he stays in Oakland. Under terms of the mortgage, McCullough stood to lose a share of the equity in his house if he sold it before 2014.
McCullough could not be reached for comment by press time.