Suspect in West County Center shooting claiming self-defense says attorney

Missouri

ST. LOUIS – The attorney for Jason Hill, the man charged with shooting a person at the West County Center, says his client didn’t know Malachi Maclin and it’s a case of self-defense.

The attorney says Maclin threatened Hill’s life. The attorney says Hill shot the Maclin because he was fearing for his life.

“My client did not know who Malachi Maclin was,” said Donnell Smith, Hill’s attorney.  “Malachi approached him, threatened to kill him.” 

Smith said his client instinctively retrieved his firearm and defended himself. The attorney believes investigators were overzealous in making an arrest because the shooting happened at West County Center. 

Smith said his client even turned his phone over to police to prove he had no connections to Maclin. He is calling on the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office to release video of the shooting.  

Smith said the video will support his client’s assertion that the shooting was self-defense.

“Everything my client said was consistent with what was in that video,” Smith said. 

The father of Maclin, Lonnie Maclin, said he’s not going to comment about the self-defense assertion because he has not seen any of the video.    

Smith said his client surrendered himself, the firearm used, and his phone to investigators. He said Hill is a high school graduate who has maintained employment throughout his adult life and is currently earning $22.50 an hour as a dock worker. 

“The investigation is ongoing, and as a result, it would be premature to comment at this time. Our prayers go out to the victim’s family,” St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said. 

The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office charged 21-year-old Jason Hill on Sunday with first-degree murder and armed criminal action.

Jason Hill

Hill is accused of shooting and killing Malachi Maclin inside the mall late Saturday afternoon.

Hill was identified as a person of interest in the case and taken into custody Sunday morning.

The shooting occurred around 6:20 p.m. at the Champs Sports store following an altercation between Hill and Maclin.

St. Louis Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell said, “The investigation is ongoing, and as a result, it would be premature to comment at this time. Our prayers go out to the victim’s family.”

Hill’s attorney says he feels this case is being treated differently because it is in West County. He says he feels there was a rush to charge a suspect.

Hill allegedly took out a firearm and shot Maclin. Maclin was taken to a local hospital where he died.

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