Jasjeet Singh claims self-defense in shooting

Teen says classmate Brian Odipo pointed gun at him

By Paul Venema - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - A former Stevens High School student who shot and killed a fellow student says he fired in self-defense.

Jasjeet Singh, now 19, says he was showing a pistol to classmate Brian Odipo on the afternoon of Oct., 2010.

The two and a third student had gone to Singh's home over the school lunch hour to see the gun.

Testifying during his trial on murder charges, Singh told the jury that as he showed the gun to Odipo, his friend pointed the gun at him in a threatening manner.

He said he grabbed the gun, fearing for his safety.

"When I snatch the gun, I lose balance and I fall back and I see Brian kind of off balance too, and I hear a chair move," Singh said. "Before I realize it, the gun goes off."

Odipo was shot once in the head and once in the leg.

Singh said he approached Odipo, who lay on the floor bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head.

"I say, ‘Brian, are you OK?' He doesn't answer. Then I realize, 'Man, I think he's dead,' and I'm like, ‘Brian, I'm sorry.'"

Odipo died two days later in the hospital.

Earlier in Singh's trial, the third teen testified that the shots were fired from across the room -- not at close range -- and that Singh did not say he fired in self-defense.

Closing arguments and jury deliberations in the trial are set for Wednesday morning in Judge Melisa Skinner's 290th District Court.

If he is found guilty of murder, Singh is facing a maximum sentence of life in prison.


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