Alan Womack was so upset that one of his opponents in a pickup basketball game had not dribbled the ball that he threatened to shoot the man in the head, officials said Friday. And when Womack tried to make good on that promise in the parking lot of an LA Fitness location in King of Prussia, authorities say, the other man defended himself, fatally shooting Womack in the chest.
After weeks of investigating the incident, and consulting surveillance footage and people who witnessed the violent public standoff, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele declined to file criminal charges.
“At no point in the encounter did the evidence reveal that the shooter provoked the decedent or raised the level of force,” Steele said in a statement Friday. “If he had, the self-defense claim would be invalidated. In fact, the shooter did just the opposite, trying several times to deescalate the situation.”
Steele’s office declined to identify the man who pulled the trigger, saying it has a policy of not identifying someone who has not been charged.
The prosecutor said that the man and Womack, 28, of King of Prussia, had met for the first time on Feb. 28, the day of the shooting. Both were licensed to carry concealed weapons.
The two played in a pickup game at the fitness center, in the King of Prussia Town Center on Village Drive. During the game, Womack made the threat, sparking an argument between the two, according to Steele. Other players helped break up the confrontation and the unidentified man decided to stop playing. But the encounter didn’t end on the court.
Surveillance footage showed that Womack followed the man out of the gym and waited for him outside when he went back in briefly to grab something he had forgotten, investigators said. When the second man started walking toward his car, Womack followed him.
As Womack screamed at the man, he pulled a Taurus 9mm handgun from his pocket and loaded a round into the chamber, according to Steele. He started to walk even closer to the man while holding the gun, witnesses told investigators.
When Womack was just a few feet away from him, the man pulled out a Glock 9mm handgun and fired once, hitting Womack in the chest. Almost simultaneously, Womack fired two shots from his gun, striking two unoccupied cars nearby.
Womack was pronounced dead at the scene.