Man shot in case that won't be prosecuted speaks out
A violent assault or a case of self-defense? That's the question a jury would have to weigh if the Anchorage district attorney's office had decided to prosecute the architect Shelton Landon hired, who later shot him.
A building under construction in Spenard is Shelton Landon's unfinished project -- a dream that's a work in progress -- that's where he wanted to meet with KTVA.
"My main focus, my main agenda, is that right there," he said gesturing toward a pile of architect drawings for a multi-function marijuana business. "Anchorage Bowl, that's what I want to see, that is what I want to open up here, this is what I want to leave behind for my kids."
His plans were slowed when a disagreement with his architect, Daniel Clift of Determine Design, turned violent.
Landon says he went to the Spenard business on Wednesday, Nov. 15, with $600 in his pocket to pay for the drawings, but he insisted Clift first give him a more detailed invoice, while Clift wanted him to just pay up.
"The next thing I know, he pulls out a revolver, a gun, and I put my hands in the air. I say, 'What are you gonna do, shoot me?' And before I got the 'shoot me' out, he shot me," explained Landon.
He says neighbors came to see what happened after hearing the shot, then Clift called 911.
Days later, Landon says he woke up from a coma missing a kidney, his spleen and part of his stomach. He now uses a cane to get around.
"As for [Clift], when I came through, he was not, he wasn't my main concern I just thought the system would kick in when it was supposed to kick in," said Landon.
On Thursday, Dec. 14, a letter from the DA's office to Anchorage Police Detective James Anderson reads:
"The Anchorage District Attorney's Office received your referral concerning allegations that Daniel Clift committed the offense of assault in the first degree when he shot Shelton Landon. Assault in the first degree is a class A felony. In cases in which an individual asserts he was acting in self-defense the state must not only prove all of the elements of the assault, but in addition the state must also disprove the elements of self-defense.
Based on my review of the file provided which included police reports, photos, audio, 911 call, medical records, and copies of emails, the case meets the elements of assault in the first degree. However, a review of the investigation also makes it clear that the state will be unable to disprove that Mr. Clift acted in self-defense. This in no ways implies that Mr. Clift's conduct is not of concern, but simply that the state will be unable to disprove self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. Since the state cannot disprove self-defense, we will not be initiating a prosecution against Mr. Clift."
Clift didn't respond to KTVA's request for comment Sunday but told another news outlet he acted in self-defense.
Landon insists he did nothing to warrant being shot, denying touching Clift, taking a threatening stance, or making verbal threats. He did acknowledge he has a criminal history but says nothing in his past is connected to last month's shooting.
He says he'd like justice, but will now be moving forward with his project.
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