A weekend shooting will be reviewed by the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office and the State Attorney’s Office to determine if the shooter was justified in using deadly force under self-defense or stand your ground laws.
Stephen Ballard, 37, was shot early Sunday morning during a physical altercation with a Quality Inn hotel clerk who later told law enforcement that Ballard had been disturbing customers and refusing to leave hotel property before he initiated a physical fight with the clerk himself.
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The clerk shot Ballard, and Ballard was transported to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
On Monday morning, ECSO spokeswoman Amber Southard told the News Journal that a warrant had been issued for Ballard’s arrest, charging him with battery.
“He has not been arrested yet, because he is still in the hospital,” Southard said.
The ECSO received a report of a gunshot victim at 4:20 a.m. Sunday at the Quality Inn located at 3 N. New Warrington Road.
“The clerk said Ballard had been bothering people in their rooms and knocking on doors,” Southard said.
The clerk told law enforcement that he asked Ballard to leave the property, but Ballard refused and attacked him, Southard said.
“The clerk pulled a gun to defend himself,” Southard said.
The case will be reviewed by the State Attorney’s Office and ECSO to determine if the clerk’s use of deadly force was justifiable under self-defense or stand your ground laws, according to Assistant State Attorney Greg Marcille.
“The individual who fired the weapon would be justified in using deadly force if the circumstance justified that use of deadly force,” Marcille said.
Colin Warren-Hicks can be reached at email@example.com or 850-435-8680.
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