The Story of Marvin Harrison, Guns and His Background Gets Much Deeper

GQ has a story online today, part of its February 2010 issue, written by Jason Fagone and titled "The Dirtiest Player" , that takes a long look at the April 2008 shooting incident that allegedly involved former Colts receiver Marvin Harrison. It's an incredible read that will require a significant chunk of your time, including the first page of the story that is basically a reconstruction of the April 28, 2008 shooting that two witnesses alleged was carried out by Harrison. (Yes, it's a recreation based on multiple accounts, so while sensationalistic, one has to wonder about its veracity at certain points when the language gets a little flowery.) But from a legal standpoint there's nothing more compelling than the story of Harrison and his five-seven pistol. ↵

↵Casings from this specific type of pistol, described as "a lightweight, low-recoil, high-capacity, semiautomatic tactical pistol made by a Belgian arms manufacturer," were found in Dwight Dixon's (aka Pop) truck. Dixon was the man who accused Harrison of shooting him on April 28, 2008. Police did a search in the state database of gun licenses and came up with Harrison's name connected to two of these weapons. ↵

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↵All of this leads to a pretty incredible conversation with the police. (The Qs are the police, the As are Harrison.) ↵

↵
↵⇥Q. When was the last time you or anyone else fired your FN 5.7-caliber handgun? ↵⇥
↵⇥A. Probably the day that I bought it. ↵⇥
↵⇥Q. What day was that? ↵⇥
↵⇥A. In 2006 or 2007. ↵⇥
↵⇥Q. Where do you store this weapon? ↵⇥
↵⇥A. In a safe at my home in Jenkintown, Pa. ↵⇥
↵⇥Q. Today, you had it at the car wash? Do you know how it got there? ↵⇥
↵⇥A. I brought it today, twenty minutes before you came. ↵⇥
↵⇥Q. Are you saying that the 5.7-cal handgun that you own was in the safe at your home up until today, when you decided to bring it to your shop in the 2500 blk. of Thompson St.? ↵⇥
↵⇥A. Yes. ↵
↵

↵So, on this random day, he decided to bring the pistol to the shop? It is, at the very least, a suspicious story. Oh, and in case you forgot, "Pop" was shot a second time and died in September. He was 33. As the GQ story notes, Marvin Harrison's cousin, Lonnie Anderson, was suspected of the second shooting, but only two security camera angles were available.  The shooting occurred down the street from Playmakers -- a bar owned by Harrison -- and the camera at Playmakers went conveniently blank for three minutes. ↵

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↵Before his death, "Pop" (pictured above) was actually put on trial and found guilty of lying to police about the Harrison incident. ↵

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↵There is so much more to the story, though. There's the sad tale of Robert Nixon, a witness who was the victim of a random bullet in the incident. He's in jail at an undisclosed prison for a misdemeanor drug conviction. According to Nixon, he was going to make a deal with Harrison's intermediaries for financial compensation in exchange for silence, but was spooked by a 2 a.m. meeting in the woods across from the Philly Zoo. (Levy notes that there really aren't woods directly across from the Philly Zoo, so there are some liberties taken here.) Nixon's testimony, like Dixon's, was discounted by Lynne Abraham, the Philadelphia District Attorney. Abraham said, "We have nine or so versions of what happened." ↵

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↵Also interesting is the incredibly violent family tree from which Harrison came. Marvin Green was Harrison's father, who stabbed a rival gang member as a 16-year-old. (Greer died at age 22 in 1974.) Greer also reportedly fathered two other boys who are Harrison's half brothers. One of those men, Markwann "Coots" Gordon, went on to be one of "the Philadelphia Mob's two top associates in the African-American underworld." He's serving 140 years. The other son, Marvin "Back to Back" Woods, is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder after he shot a basketball teammate with a Tec-9. The reason? Woods' coach put the boy into the game as a substitute. ↵

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↵As I said before, carve out some time to read this thing. I'm probably not doing it justice by selectively poaching bits of the story, but this was what stuck out to me. Head over to GQ and check it out for yourself. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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