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Police: Shoot acted in self-defense

By Leo Shane III
Staff Writer
E-mail
Thursday, August 3, 2000

David Guyger shot Martin Joyce after being punched during an argument at a Hatboro intersection, investigators said. No charges will be filed.

HATBORO óDavid Guyger was punched and threatened by a 19-year-old stranger before using his revolver to shoot the assailant, police said. Officials have ruled Guyger acted in self-defense, and neither man will be charged in the incident.

Martin Joyce of Jamison survived the shooting, which occurred Saturday at York and Byberry roads during an argument with 21-year-old Guyger, a Willow Grove resident. Police said that Joyce instigated the fight and that Guyger's use of the firearm was justified.

Hatboro Police Chief Sam Gallen said Guyger was stopped at a red light at the intersection about 12:45 a.m. when Joyce approached his vehicle and asked for change.

The conversation quickly escalated into an argument, and Joyce reached into Guyger's car and punched him, according to police.

Joyce then grabbed the driver and threatened to kill him, police said. Guyger then drew his Taurus handgun and fired once into Joyce's abdomen. Joyce was taken to Abington Memorial Hospital, treated for his wound and released later that day.

Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor said Guyger is licensed to carry the gun and his weapon is properly registered. He added that Guyger had no chance of retreating from his attacker because the initial punch lifted his foot off the clutch, stalling his car.

"This guy called for police, did everything he was supposed to do before he fired," he said.

Both agencies concluded Joyce was to blame for the incident, but he will not face any charges.

"I think he could be charged with simple assault, but I think getting shot is punishment enough," Castor said.

Neither man could be reached for comment.

Guyger was not seriously injured in the fight. Several motorists witnessed the exchange, but no one else was hurt.


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