“Somebody got shot on the RTA!”

911 call

CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team has learned no charges will be filed for a deadly shooting on an RTA bus.

He ended up facing no charges under a ruling made under Ohio’s Stand Your Ground law regarding self-defense.

Last year, the law changed giving people more rights to defend themselves in public.

Back in March, trouble broke out on the RTA HealthLine bus.

The video shows two men fighting. Even when it seemed to stop, one man charged back at the other again.

Then, you can hear a loud ‘pop’. One man falls to the ground, and the other calmly walks off the bus.

Looking closely at the video, you can see a gun in his hand.

A man called 911 saying, “Emergency! Somebody got shot on the RTA!”

David Kittreles died.

The suspect in the shooting will not be indicted because last year Ohio’s Stand Your Ground law changed to cover cases such as this.

Cuyahoga County Prosecutors released a statement. It said, “The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office’s Self Defense Committee thoroughly reviewed the facts of this case and the circumstances known at this time. Based on Ohio’s Stand Your Ground laws, the State is unable to meet the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooter did not have a fear of serious bodily harm and/or death. Therefore, self-defense does apply, and the State is precluded from pursuing homicide charges.”

We talked to the sister of the man killed on the bus, Tiffany Cistrunk.
“I feel like it’s absurd. He had a gun. He was on a bus. There was other people on the bus. He should have been charged with something,” she told the I-Team.

We asked Case Western Reserve University law professor Michael Benza to explain what the new Stand Your Ground law means to the public in comparison to what had been in place before.

Benza said, “Even when you are outside in a public place, you do not have an obligation to escape before you can use self-defense.”

In the past, Ohio law said you could defend yourself in your home. But, out in public, you first had to try to run away. Now, no matter if you’re at home or in public, you do not have to try to escape. You can defend yourself.

Michael Benza added, “We do look at, was the person who used the force, the person defending themselves, actually afraid? And there’s some limitation that that fear had to be reasonable.”

The video also shows the bus driver calling for help saying, “All I know is it was cussing and fighting…I heard a shot fired.”

Benza also told us you have more freedom to defend yourself whether you face a gun or other force.

But investigators will also look at the threat you faced and how much force you used in self-defense.

We’re told self-defense cases like this do not come up nearly as often as most people think they do.