Flair Griggs, 16, charged with homicide in death of Joseph Gomez Jr. submitted
Flair Lamont Griggs

Reading between the lines, you come away with the impression that both of these young men were up to no good, and probably involved in illegal activities beyond the mere possession of firearms by minors.

If Flair Lamont Griggs had been an adult with a license to carry a concealed weapon, he likely would not be facing a term in state prison, York County Chief Deputy Prosecutor David Maisch said on Monday.

As it is, Griggs, now 17, received a sentence of three to seven years in state prison for possession of a firearm without a license and a consecutive two years of probation for reckless endangerment for the self-defense shooting of 17-year-old Joseph Gomez Jr.

Maisch said there was a history of “bad blood” between the two teens on April 13, 2013, when Gomez cornered Griggs against a wall and between two parked cars in the parking lot of McDonald’s at 142 S. George St. in York.

Maisch said surveillance video and eyewitness accounts established that Gomez was pointing a firearm at Griggs when Griggs pulled his own handgun and shot Gomez.

The reporter is probably right.

If Griggs had been an adult and if valid concealed carry permit, there is very little chance that he would have faced any charges since all the evidence (including eyewitnesses, and surveillance video) showed that Gomez pulled his gun first and threatened Griggs before Griggs responded by pulling his gun and shooting Gomez six times.

Indeed, Griggs was not convicted for killing Gomez, as the shooting itself was clearly self-defense. He’s going to state prison for possession of a firearm without a license and probation for reckless endangerment.

Gomez’s justifiable shooting will, of course, be included among the statistics of “children killed by guns.”