Survivor in garage shooting case says man fired quickly

The person who was with two Dayton teenagers when they were fatally shot in a detached garage by a Dayton homeowner in 2019 testified during a jury trial Wednesday that they were only there for a few minutes before gunshots were fired.

Ja’shin Gibson said that he and 17-year-olds Javier Harrison and Devin Henderson planned to “hotbox” marijuana smoke in a vehicle they thought was abandoned in that garage, which he described as pitch-black.

“We just wanted to get high, go home,” Gibson said.

ExploreMurder trial begins for Dayton man who shot teens in his garage

But before the three were able to do so, prosecutors say Victor Santana, 65, the owner of the detached garage, fired shots inside the vehicle without warning.

“He didn’t say nothing at all,” Gibson said.

Harrison and Henderson were shot and killed. Gibson said he was able to sneak underneath the vehicle and hide until Santana returned to his home. Gibson was not shot during the incident.

The trial against Santana, who is charged with murder and felonious assault in the case, entered day two Wednesday with Gibson’s testimony. Prosecutors argued during opening arguments Tuesday that Santana used the cover of night to sneak up on the three to shoot at them.

Meanwhile, Santana’s defense said that the man didn’t know if the people in his garage had weapons or if they intended to enter his home; and that he was acting in self-defense at the time of the shooting.

Gibson, who was 19 at the time of the incident, said that when he first spoke to police, he told them that he never entered the garage — because he was on probation for robbery and didn’t want to go to jail. But he said he told them the truth when he said he was inside the car with the teenagers during the shooting.

He said he never had an opportunity to tell Santana that they thought the vehicle was abandoned, or that they weren’t trying to hurt anyone, before the man opened fire.

The jury trial is expected to last throughout this week.

About the Author