BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The attorney for Demetrius Jackson, one of three men charged in the death of 8-year-old Royta Giles Jr. in a shooting at the Riverchase Galleria last week, said his client was defending himself.

Earlier this week, Hoover police announced capital murder charges against King Gary Williams and Demetrius Dewayne Jackson Jr, both 19 years old and from Birmingham. Each were also charged with three counts of second-degree assault in connection to the wounding of three others inside the mall on July 3.

Attorney Victor Revill of the Revill Law Firm released the following statement to CBS 42 regarding Jackson:

“Demetrius Jackson is a 19-year old graduate of Huffman High School. He is a son, a grandson, a cousin, and a friend. This young man has never been arrested, charged, nor convicted of a crime in his young life. Unfortunately, on July 3, 2020, Mr. Jackson was placed in a position wherein he was forced to defend himself against the violent actions of Montez Coleman, a person he did not know. Mr. Jackson has been charged with Capital Murder and Assault for defending his own life and for refusing to be victimized by a person who clearly had no regard for human life. Mr. Jackson is yet another victim of a system that maintains a blatant double standard between the actions of members of the public and actions of police officers. Instead of searching for answers and cloaking Mr. Jackson in the presumption of innocence which the law requires, law enforcement chose to arrest Mr. Jackson without gathering all of the evidence. While many members of the law enforcement community are given the benefit of the doubt when a shooting occurs, it is deeply disturbing that Mr. Jackson was not given the benefit of a full investigation prior to him being charged. Regardless of the assumptions being made in this case, we are confident that justice will prevail, the truth will be heard, and Mr. Jackson’s actions in self-defense will be vindicated.”

-Victor Revill

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 23 at 10 a.m.