SPRINGDALE, Ohio — Tara McRae, the mother of a man charged with felonious assault after a shooting outside Dave & Buster's, said she believes her son was a victim in the confrontation and was responding to the aggression of other people at the barcade.
"I want my son not to be portrayed as a monster," McRae said Friday. "It's unfortunate that this happened, but he was not the instigator or the perpetrator. He was a victim."
Police have accused John Perez, 24, of becoming involved in a fight at Dave & Buster's on June 28. Court documents indicate he left the scuffle, retrieved a gun from his car and shot another participant in the back.
McRae said another group of people at Dave & Buster's started the fight by punching Perez's girlfriend. She claimed another person punched her daughter — Perez's sister — in the face, and the girl had to be treated for a concussion at Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
"I'm not letting this go about these kids. I'm not letting it go — they were children," McRae said. "Grown people fighting is something different, but these are babies. They went too far."
Perez fled the scene after the shooting, but police said an eyewitness identified him. Officers found the gun used to injure the other man in Perez’s vehicle.
“This case is ongoing and more charges on this suspect and others are forthcoming,” wrote Springdale police Chief Thomas S. Wells in a news release.
The gunshot victim was briefly hospitalized but had been released by the end of the following day.
A spokesperson with Dave & Busters said their thoughts are with those affected by Monday night's shooting.