Bengals RB Joe Mixon will not be charged, officials say
- March 16, 2023
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CINCINNATI — Bengals running back Joe Mixon will not be charged in a shooting near his home, local officials said Thursday.
Mixon’s home was part of a crime scene investigation in which a teenager was shot and killed while playing “Nerf Wars,” a toy gun game. District attorneys allege that Lamonte Brewer, who is listed as a friend of Mixon’s sister Shalonda, fired 11 bullets at the teen, who is Mixon’s neighbor.
Brewer has been charged with multiple felonies — once assault, once evidence tampering, and twice possession of a gun while disabled. Shalonda Mixon was charged with two crimes – tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice. The returning Bengals will not be prosecuted.
“No charges will be filed against him,” Hamilton County Attorney Melissa Powers said at a news conference in Cincinnati. “He has committed no crime.”
Mixon, who has played for the Bengals for six years, has cooperated with authorities and issued a statement, Powers said.
According to the incident report and prosecutors, the shots were fired from Mixon’s backyard, one of which hit the teenager in the foot.
Powers brought the toy gun believed to have been held by the teenager during the incident. The county believes the damage to the front of the toy resulted from where a bullet entered and exited the device.
According to the incident report, the incident happened on March 6 at around 8:30 p.m. Although the lighting was minimal, Powers believed Brewer, Joe Mixon, and Mixon’s physical therapist Sean Pena could have told the difference between a real gun and a toy gun.
“Everyone has been out long enough for their eyes to adjust to the darkness and acclimate to be able to tell they were toy guns,” Powers said.
The game “Nerf Wars,” Powers said, involves high school students playing games with toy guns in neighborhoods, usually suburban. Mixon told authorities he was on high alert after receiving death threats following a threatening incident in January in which Mixon allegedly pointed a gun at a woman on a street. The case was immediately dropped.
County officials said surveillance video showed Mixon standing with Brewer in his backyard. Mixon’s sister was seen collecting shell casings before she and Brewer attempted to leave the scene.
Joe Mixon was seen carrying a firearm but not firing any shots, the county said in a statement. As a legal gun owner, Mixon had a right to the gun.
In a statement released by his agent, Mixon and Pena feared for the safety of people at the home, including Shalonda Mixon’s five children. Mixon’s agent and the district both said Mixon called the team’s safety director to report the incident as soon as it occurred. The Bengals have not acknowledged multiple requests for comment since the initial shooting.
“When another person fired a firearm, Joe intervened to stop the person from firing a firearm,” Mixon’s agent, Peter Schaffer, said in a statement. “Joe hates that a young adult was injured in this incident.”
Schaffer urged parents, government agencies, and school districts to evaluate the Nerf Wars game and find ways to play it safely during the day.
If convicted, Brewer would face a maximum of 20 years personally. In a statement, Powers said it was “a miracle the child wasn’t killed” and that someone like Brewer “deserves to spend as many years behind bars as the law allows.”