On Wednesday, former Colts receiver and Philadelphia native Marvin Harrison saw a 9mm handgun seized from his vehicle for ballistics tests.
The initial report from Shaun Assael of ESPN The Magazine indicated that police planned to determine whether the gun matched the 9mm shell casings found at the scene of an April 2008 shooting. Already, police have determined that one gun owned by Harrison was involved in the incident.
Howard Eskin of 610 WIP in Philadelphia tells us that police actually plan to search more broadly for potential matches, comparing the gun to any and all shootings to which Harrison possibly could be connected.
To date, only two possible incidents have been reported. In addition to the April 2008 shooting, police have investigated whether the man who shot and killed Dwight Dixon (one of the April 2008 victims) did so at the behest of Harrison.
Per Eskin, police in Philly plan to pursue aggressively any connection between Harrison and currently unsolved shootings. “I’m told police thought they had him before,” Eskin said. “Now police will take this one to the wall.”
Prosecutors have opted not to pursue charges against Harrison for the 2008 shooting, citing discrepancies in the potential testimony of witnesses regarding the identity of the shooter. Though Harrison remains a chief suspect, the very high standard of proof beyond a reasonable doubt forces the authorities to have an air tight case.
Just like the one that prosecutors in the O.J. Simpson double-murder case believed they had.