Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg won’t prosecute a Manhattan parking garage attendant who shot a suspected thief after he was wounded, his office confirmed on Sunday.
Moussa Diarra, 57, was shot twice by suspected car thief Charles Rhodie, 59, on Saturday before he obtained the suspect’s handgun and shot the suspect, authorities said. Diarra was initially charged with assault, gun possession, and attempted murder—drawing outrage on social media—before the charges were dropped.
Bragg’s office said that “we are declining to prosecute Moussa Diarra pending further investigation,” reported Fox5 New York. The Epoch Times has contacted Bragg’s office for comment.
Officials told local media that Rhodie was also charged with attempted murder, gun possession, and assault.
“The DA’s office did a great job. They investigated it. We also did a deep dive into it, and it was clear that Moussa was really a victim, lucky to be alive and a hero,” attorney Charles Clayman told the Daily News. “They have declined to prosecute, for good reason.”
Diarra’s lawyer told the Post on Sunday that “we were in constant touch with the DA, and I just think that the police on the scene felt that that was the right thing to do … and then things would be sorted out by the DA, and I believe that’s what happened.”
“I think what they wanted to do was sort things out, and both men had been shot,” he said, referring to the police and charges. “And they just didn’t have time just to start talking to witnesses at that point.
“By this morning, people understood exactly what had happened, what a hero and victim my client was. Obviously not the perpetrator,” Clayman added. “So all’s well that ends well.”
Officials said that around 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, Diarra spotted a man peering into cars on a West 31st Street garage in Manhattan. Diarra then brought the man outside and asked him about what was inside his bag before the man pulled a gun on him.
Diarra attempted to grab the gun before it was fired, shooting the parking garage attendant in the stomach and grazing his ear. He then grabbed the gun and shot the would-be car thief, officials told local media.
“Someone was illegally in the garage. He got him to leave, the guy pulled a gun and a fight ensued,” Clayman told the Daily News. “Moussa tried to protect himself and anybody else that was around.”
Elaborating, the lawyer said, “When the police came, two men were on the sidewalk. Both of them had been shot and there was blood on the street.”
Before it was reported that charges were dropped against Diarra, the case drew immediate comparison to an incident that took place last year in the Bronx when a convenience store worker stabbed a man who was seen on video assaulting him. Alba, 61, spent several days inside the Rikers Island facility after he was arrested and charged with the death of Austin Simon.
Charges against Alba were dropped after widespread outcry from the community and some local politicians, including Mayor Eric Adams.
Meanwhile, Bragg has faced more criticism for investigating former President Donald Trump for alleged hush-money payments that were made to adult actress Stormy Daniels during the 2016 campaign. Trump has denied wrongdoing and has accused Bragg of taking campaign money from left-wing billionaire investor George Soros.
A Manhattan grand jury indicted Trump late last week, although the indictment has not yet been unsealed in connection to the case. Trump has confirmed on social media that he will fly to Manhattan on Tuesday to face arraignment.