Sebastian County Prosecutor Daniel Shue has decided not to file charges against a man involved in the deadly Fort Smith mall shooting that occurred on May 10, according to a statement released by his office Monday (May 19).
Shue states it is the opinion of his office that Grayson Herrera was justified in his use of deadly force at Central Mall against Fadi Qandil, who died from injuries suffered in the shooting.
“This is a justifiable homicide which does not merit the filing of criminal charges,” Shue states.
Fadi “Frankie” Qandil, 34, died from injuries sustained from multiple gunshot wounds to the upper torso in a parking lot between the Malco Theaters and JC Penney, said Sgt. Daniel Grubbs with the Fort Smith Police Department.
Fort Smith police responded to a report of shots fired at the mall at 7:41 p.m. May 10.
Investigators said Qandil confronted his estranged wife, Tabitha Qandil, 31, Grayson Herrera, 23, and Dustin O’Conner, 27, as the three were headed to the movie theater.
“The victim raised his shirt and showed a weapon within his waistband, began to pull the weapon. The other two were concealed handgun weapon carriers, and they pulled their weapons,” Grubbs said. “And there was an exchange of gunfire.”
An off-duty officer was working security inside the Malco, and another off-duty officer was attending a movie, when both heard the shots and ran to the parking lot, Grubbs said. The officers were able to disarmed Herrera and O’Conner.
The main law that led to Shue’s decision not to file charges was Arkansas Code Annotate 5-2-607, which states:
“A person is justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if the person reasonably believes that the other person is: committing or about to commit a felony involving force or violence or using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force.”
Shue says in his statement, “Considering all circumstances, Herrera had a reasonable belief that Qandil was committing or about to commit a felony involving force or violence (attempted murder or aggravated assault) and/or that Qandil was using unlawful deadly physical force upon Mr. Herrera or the other persons present at the scene.”
The statement continues, “It is clear from the investigation conducted that Herrera was lawfully exercising his rights under Arkansas law by defending himself and/or other persons when he took the action that resulted in the death of Qandil.”