Tucson, Arizona

From the Arizona Daily Star of July 27, 2007

Skrappy’s settles suit over shooting death

Insurer pays part of $250,000 to man’s parents

The parents of a 27-year-old Mesa resident who was shot and killed in the parking lot of Skrappy’s youth club Downtown have settled their lawsuit with the club and the man who shot him. Ray “Darrin” Pierson’s parents settled the lawsuit for $250,000, said Tucson attorney James Dyer.

Skrappy’s has agreed to pay Phoenix residents Jeffrey Pierson and Julie Maynard, Ray Pierson’s parents, $150,000.
Jordan Asch’s homeowners insurance has agreed to pay the remaining $100,000, Dyer said. Asch, who shot Pierson, was not charged in the case.

The county attorney ruled the shooting justified

Ray Pierson was shot and killed Dec. 7, 2005, outside the club at 201 E. Broadway.

Despite the settlement, what happened that night remains a hotly contested issue.

One side maintains Pierson died protecting the crowd from a Columbine-type massacre.

The other insists Pierson was a member of a national group known for provoking melees and Asch shot him in self-defense.

The group, FSU, is known in some circles as Friends Stand United. Others contend the initials stand for a vulgar expression related to creating disturbances.

In a prepared statement faxed to the Arizona Daily Star, Sue Krahe-Eggleston, executive director of Our Family Services, the nonprofit organization behind Skrappy’s, expressed her relief that the lawsuit has been resolved.

“While we do not believe Skrappy’s was in any way at fault for causing this unfortunate incident, we welcomed the opportunity to settle as a way to avoid the costly legal fees of continuing the case.

“We would not characterize the actions of Darrin Pierson as that of a hero. While our hearts go out to his family, we believe he and his accomplices were the initiators of an unwarranted and violent attack on a number of innocent concertgoers.”

While one of five bands playing that night was performing, a large group ran into the crowd and began hitting people, according to police reports. Others began throwing microphone stands, speakers and amplifiers into the crowd.

A member of Skrappy’s management turned on the lights and told everyone to leave, that the police had been called.

According to some accounts, Asch, who sometimes acted as volunteer security for the club, went to his car to get an assault rifle to prevent the situation from escalating further.

Asch’s friends insisted Asch was persuaded to put the rifle back into his truck and it was while they were at his truck they were attacked by a mob carrying pool balls in socks, hammers, baseball bats and machetes.

Asch, who is now 25, told police one of the men “went to the passenger (door) and busted out my window and started climbing in after me with the hammer in his hand, so I shot him center mass.”

(More)

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