Dwight Dixon, Marvin Harrison accuser, shot 7 times

Posted: July 22, 2009

Someone wanted Dwight Dixon dead, wanted it bad enough to get up close and riddle him with seven bullets in broad daylight.

Police sources said that Dixon - the man who generated national headlines last year when he claimed to have been shot by NFL star Marvin Harrison - was found leaning against his Toyota Camry in Fairmount yesterday morning, moments after a triggerman's bullets tore through his chest, stomach and arm.

Dixon was alive, barely, but once again at the center of a puzzling police investigation.

After a lengthy investigation, which found that Harrison's gun had been involved in the April 29, 2008, shooting, the District Attorney's Office announced in January that it wasn't going to charge Harrison in the crime.

Dixon, however, was still pursuing a civil lawsuit against the former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver, said Dixon's attorney, Robert Gamburg.

Although eyebrows raised yesterday when word leaked that Dixon was shot on Girard Avenue near 28th Street, just two blocks north of Harrison's bar, Playmakers, investigators said they had no evidence to suggest Harrison's involvement and had no suspects, sources said.

Detectives were unable to interview Dixon, who was admitted to Hahnemann University Hospital in critical condition and rushed into surgery.

Dixon did, however, tell an officer at the scene of the shooting that he believed that the gunman had been hired by someone else, sources said.

Investigators have not determined a motive for the shooting Dixon, 33. He was convicted in 1998 on drug-possession charges.

Lt. Frank Vanore, a police spokesman, said that police were called to 28th and Girard at 10:59 a.m.

The gunman - identified only as a 6-foot-tall black man who wore a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and white sneakers - had apparently circled around the Camry and then opened fire while Dixon sat in the driver's seat, Vanore said.

Cops found numerous bullet fragments, apparently fired from a 9mm handgun, littered around Dixon's car, which was parked in front of a Valu-Plus store. The car's windows were shot out.

Vanore said that the gunman fled on foot. It was unclear if surveillance cameras - including two affixed to the front of Valu-Plus - captured the shooting.

Investigators said that Dixon may have been in the area because he regularly eats breakfast at Chopstick & Fork, a sandwich shop next door to Valu-Plus.

"We heard the shots," said a Valu-Plus employee who declined to be named.

"We just kind of ducked down. Luckily, the store was pretty empty."

Gamburg, Dixon's attorney, said that he hoped to visit Dixon in the hospital today. "I have no idea what this could be about," he said.

The attorney said that he and Dixon are pursuing the civil suit they filed last fall against Harrison over the shooting.

"I expect we'll have a trial date in November," Gamburg said.

Gamburg is also battling the D.A.'s office, which is prosecuting Dixon for allegedly lying to police when he initially described what happened on the evening of April 29, 2008, the night he claimed that Harrison shot him in the arm. (Dixon is due in court on Aug. 9 to face the charge of making a false report to police.)

In an interview with the Daily News earlier this year, Dixon said that he and Harrison had a dispute at Playmakers two weeks before the shooting.

The tiff boiled over on April 29, when, Dixon said, he was involved in a fistfight with Harrison and two of Harrison's friends near a garage that Harrison owns on Thompson Street near 25th.

When the brawl ended, Dixon said, Harrison pulled out two handguns. "I said, 'Oh, now you a gangster?' Then he started shooting," Dixon said.

Ballistics evidence determined that at least five shots had been fired that night from a Belgian-made handgun that Harrison owns.

Dixon's accusations appeared to have been strengthened by two other men: Robert Nixon, who claimed to have been wounded by a stray bullet that night, and Malcolm Poindexter, whose 2-year-old son was injured by shattered glass near the shooting scene.

But D.A. Lynne Abraham declined to press charges, citing "untrustworthy and sometimes false" statements made by Dixon, Harrison, Nixon and others. Investigators received nine versions of the shooting.

At the time, Abraham said that she was "pretty comfortable" that she knew who fired Harrison's gun, but didn't think that she could prove the case in court because prosecutors couldn't vouch for the witnesses' credibility.

Abraham left open the possibility that Harrison could face charges, pending the outcome of the civil suit.

The civil suit, filed last Sept. 2, claims that Harrison is responsible for the injuries that Dixon suffered during the shooting. "We believe Marvin Harrison was the shooter," Gamburg said. "But even if you believe he wasn't, his gun was still used in the shooting, so he was negligent for leaving the weapon where someone else could obtain it."

The suit seeks more than $100,000 for injuries to Dixon's left hand and a shock to his nervous system.

Dixon had been "doing a whole lot of nothing" since Abraham's announcement, Gamburg said yesterday.

"Mainly, he's just been sitting around, trying to figure out why the D.A. of Philly hung him out to dry." *

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