'Santa Claus Shooter' is a hero, says family

Family and friends of the "Santa Claus Shooter" want to set the record straight.

They want Marcus Weldon's name cleared of charges.

It is a case of self defense and not assault with intent to do murder - that is what the family and friends of Weldon, 26, hope prosecutors will see and act on.

On Monday those who know Weldon the best, stood side by side to clear his name at a press conference.

"He is not 'The Santa Claus Shooter' doing anything negative," said David Bullock of the Change Agent Consortium. "In fact he was a 'Super Santa' protecting a sister who was in his care."

Weldon is out on bond after a shooting at a Detroit Speedway gas station on West Jefferson Dec. 21 that sent two men to the hospital and Weldon and his co-worker, Erica Johnson, running.

"I'm glad I'm not at a funeral," said Kathleen Weldon, Marcus' mother. "Rather I'm here, I'm trying to defend my son. At least he still has breath in his body."

Johnson says Weldon was helping to fix her tire when she was attacked by strangers.

Then came an argument, followed  by shots fired from Weldon, who was licensed to carry a concealed weapon. The pair had just left a holiday party and he was dressed as Santa.

"If something happens and you know you are being threatened, you don't wait until you are dead to act," Johnson said. "You turn around and run - and that's what we did."

Weldon's family members say he's a dedicated father, a man of faith, who is working two jobs. Last year he even appeared as a model on FOX 2.

"He was a hero he was doing what any young man in his place would do," said Mark Weldon, Marcus' father.

Family and friends say he is not a criminal and they are not giving up.

"This brother is the epitome of positivity," said Alonzo Bell, a pastor. "So we are praying the prosecution will drop the charges and call it for what it is, it is self-defense just like that."

FOX 2 did reach out to the prosecutor's office. A spokeswoman said they plan to proceed with the case and that the charges are appropriate which is why they were brought about in the first  place. 

Weldon's next court date is Thursday.

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