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Manatee County Declines to Charge Teen in New Year's Shooting Death

The state attorney's office for Manatee County has declined to charge 19-year-old Davell Kendricks with manslaughter for the New Year's Day death of Rashawn Scott.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, Kendricks and Scott were playing cards with a group of people at a Palmetto rooming house on January 1. Witnesses told investigators that Scott threatened Kendricks with a gun after losing money to him.

Scott fired the gun twice, hitting Kendricks once. Kendricks then pulled out his own gun and fatally shot Scott. Kendricks allegedly fled the scene with both guns.

Someone in the house called 911 and hung up. When 911 dispatchers called back, the shooting was reported by an unknown caller. Deputies responded to the rooming house, where they discovered Scott's body. Shortly afterward, Kendricks checked himself into Manatee Memorial Hospital with a gunshot wound.

When originally interviewed about his injuries, Kendricks told deputies that he was near the rooming house when a stray bullet hit him.

Although Kendricks is not charged in Scott's death, he was arrested Monday on other charges: possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, tampering with evidence and giving false information to law enforcement.

Florida's justifiable use of force statute states that "[a] person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself."

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