MAYS LANDING, N.J. — The alleged target of a shooting last fall at a high school football game in Pleasantville — in which 10-year-old Micah Tennant was fatally wounded — was in an Atlantic County courtroom Thursday for his first appearance before a judge on gun charges in the case.
Ibn Abdullah, 27, of Atlantic City, who is not in custody and also uses the first name “Askia,” was one of three people shot at the Friday night football game Nov. 15 between Camden and Pleasantville High Schools.
The alleged shooter, Alvin Wyatt, 31, of Atlantic City, who authorities said fired into the bleachers during the third quarter of the packed game, pleaded not guilty last week to charges of murder, attempted murder, and weapon offenses.
Authorities have said that Wyatt fired a semiautomatic handgun after spotting Abdullah in the stands and that the shooting might have stemmed from a prior Atlantic City homicide. They have said they are looking at the defendants’ possible connections to drug trafficking.
Micah, a fifth grader at Atlantic City’s Uptown School Complex, died at Cooper University Medical Center in Camden, five days after being shot in the neck. Another bystander who was shot in the forearm, a 15-year-old boy, was treated at another hospital and released.
Abdullah, charged with weapon offenses because a handgun allegedly was found in his pants after he had been shot, attended the hearing in a wheelchair. His attorney, Robert W. Johnson, said after the hearing that Abdullah suffers from six gunshot wounds and “currently can’t walk on his own.”
Johnson said he couldn’t comment on the charges because he had not yet received paperwork in the case. He said he did not know how long Abdullah had to stay at the Atlantic City campus of AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center before he was released.
During the hearing, Assistant Prosecutor Deirdre Laws told Superior Court Judge Donna Taylor that Abdullah is expected to be indicted within two weeks. The judge set April 9 as Abdullah’s next court date.
Outside the courtroom, a man who helped Abdullah get into an elevator said they did not want to comment.
Four other men at the football game and traveling in a BMW after the shooting also have been charged with unlawful gun possession after one, Tyrell Dorn, allegedly threw a 9mm handgun out the vehicle’s window near Atlantic City. It was not the gun used in the football game shooting, authorities have said.
Also Thursday, Dorn, 28, of Atlantic City, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment before Atlantic County Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury. His attorney, Michael Schreiber, told the judge that he is discussing a potential plea deal with Assistant Prosecutor Edmund Mallqui-Burgos. A hearing for a possible plea was set for March 12.
After the hearing, Schreiber said Dorn may plead guilty to one of his two weapon charges. Dorn signed an affidavit last month saying that he had a gun in the vehicle and that no one else in the vehicle knew anything about it.
The other men, Michael Mack and Shahid Dixon, both 27 and of Atlantic County, and Vance Golden, 26, of Pleasantville, pleaded not guilty last week.
Abdullah identified Wyatt by name after being shot, according to Wyatt’s affidavit of probable cause. Police apprehended Wyatt as he was running from the scene and recovered a semiautomatic handgun underneath a handicap ramp of the bleachers near where he was seen running, the affidavit says.
Federal court records show that Abdullah, who had been convicted in federal court in Camden of conspiracy to distribute heroin, served about 4½ years of a seven-year federal prison sentence and was released in July. He has an April hearing in federal court because he allegedly violated his supervised release terms by being arrested in the Pleasantville case.