FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A man accused of robbery in what ended up being a marijuana-deal-turned-shootout at the Southtown Crossing Walmart parking lot this past November will serve no time behind bars.
An Allen Superior Court judge on Tuesday gave 26-year-old Khalil Hamilton a three-year suspended for his role in the shootout, which left him in life-threatening condition at the time.
Hamilton previously pleaded guilty to one count of robbery in connection with the shooting, which led to police blanketing the big-box-store’s parking lot with vehicles and officers in the aftermath Nov. 15.
As part of his plea, a felony count of armed robbery Hamilton faced was dismissed.
Hamilton is accused of setting up the deal with another man and both agreed to meet each other at the Walmart parking lot, according to Allen Superior Court documents.
The deal called for Hamilton to pay the other man $1,000 for a quarter pound of marijuana as well as some marijuana papers, court documents said. When he arrived at the lot, Hamilton got into a vehicle with the man and the man’s brother to make the exchange.
Instead of handing over money, though, Hamilton is accused of pulling out a gun, according to court documents.
He’s then accused of ordering the two men to hand over the marijuana as well as some cash before exiting the vehicle, court documents said.
The man Hamilton set up the deal with then got out of the vehicle and pulled out a gun of his own, according to court documents. Gunshots were exchanged and Hamilton ended up shot, court documents said.
Hamilton was taken to a hospital with life threatening injuries.
He was upgraded once at a local hospital and he eventually lived, court documents said.
During interviews with Fort Wayne police detectives, one of the men involved at first said he planned to buy marijuana from Hamilton when the robbery happened.
After reviewing phone records which showed messages exchanged between Hamilton and the man as well as an interview the man’s brother, investigators were able to figure out the deal was the other way around – Hamilton was buying from the man.
Other than that detail, the man’s story remained consistent:
He said in court documents Hamilton robbed him, got out of the vehicle where the deal was supposed to happen and that it “shook” him. When the man got out to confront Hamilton, Hamilton pointed a gun at him, he said.
That’s when he fired at Hamilton, according to court documents.
About a week after the shooting, police searched Hamilton’s car and found a bag containing 7.5 grams of marijuana that had been stolen in the robbery but no cash, according to court documents.
As part of his sentence, Hamilton was ordered to serve probation, undergo substance and mental health evaluations and ordered to stay away from the man he set up the drug deal with, according to court records.
The gun he carried with him the day of the shooting will also be destroyed, court records said.