Prosecutor says Malco Paradiso shooting case could go to grand jury

Malco shooting case could go to grand jury

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Charges against a man who police say fired a shot into the ceiling of a busy East Memphis movie theater have been dropped for the time being, but prosecutors insist the case remains under active investigation.

A warrant for Jajuan Herron was issued in April after Memphis police said he was the man seen in surveillance images from the Malco Paradiso theater.

Surveillance photo of suspected gunman inside theater (Source: MPD)
Surveillance photo of suspected gunman inside theater (Source: MPD)

According to an MPD Facebook post from the time, a man and woman got into an argument with two other women April 6 before the man fired a shot into the ceiling of the theater. No one was struck by the gunfire, but some patrons were injured in the scramble to get out of the auditorium.

Herron was taken into custody Oct. 24 and charged with 107 counts of reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon for the incident, which occurred inside a building where firearms are prohibited.

After a preliminary hearing Tuesday, records show all 107 counts were changed to the status “Nolle Prosequi no court costs” and the case was marked as “disposed.”

Court records show of a portion of the 107 charges against Jajuan Herron that were dropped Tuesday. (Source: Shelby County Courts)
Court records show of a portion of the 107 charges against Jajuan Herron that were dropped Tuesday. (Source: Shelby County Courts)

Nolle Prosequi means the charges have effectively been dropped, but it does not prohibit prosecutors from bringing them forward again.

"I can’t say a whole lot at this point," Larry Buser with the Shelby County District Attorney's Office wrote in an email. "But it still can go to the grand jury and it still is under investigation."

It’s not the first time Herron has had criminal charges dismissed. In 2016, Herron was charged with attempted first-degree murder for a shooting that injured two teenage girls near Kirby High School in August 2015.

One of the victims even recognized Herron as her attacker, according to a police affidavit. But five months after he was indicted the charges were also dismissed Nolle Prosequi.

“The cases had to be dismissed when it became apparent we were not going to be able to carry our burden of proof,” Buser said in April when WMC Action News 5 asked about Herron’s previous arrests. “Some cases get stronger as the investigation goes further. This one got weaker to the point that the proper thing to do was to dismiss charges.”

Police have not announced any other arrests in that shooting.

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