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Published: Wednesday, 6/12/2002

Witness recants statement on site of student's shooting

Columbus police said yesterday its detectives believe former St. John's Jesuit High School student David L. Slater, 22, was shot in a different location than what was reported originally.

Detectives now believe Mr. Slater, who died early Sunday in the Ohio State University Medical Center, was shot in a vehicle on East 11th Avenue near North 4th Street, Sherry Mercurio, police division spokeswoman, said.

Police first said Mr. Slater, a senior majoring in business at Ohio State, was shot near 22 East 16th in Pearl Alley based on a witness' statement.

Ms. Mercurio said the witness recanted his original statement and gave authorities a second location.

“Our detectives believe the second address is where Mr. Slater was actually shot,” Ms. Mercurio said. “They believe that based on their investigation, but they don't want to release any more information other than that at this time.”

Ms. Mercurio said she does not know why the witness, whom she would not identify, changed his story. She said the new location is also just off the OSU campus.

Dr. Brad Lewis, Franklin County coroner, said yesterday Mr. Slater died of a gunshot wound to the torso. Dr. Lewis said police asked him not to give out information more specific than that because of their continuing investigation.

Police had said the gunshot that killed Mr. Slater came through the rear window of the vehicle. Ms. Mercurio declined to confirm that information.

A witness tried to drive Mr. Slater to the medical center, but paramedics were eventually called to take him. Mr. Slater graduated from St. John's in 1998.

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