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Lawyer comments on charging Quick Stop witnesses with a crime

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Surveillance video recently released shows a cold-blooded killing and no one coming to help the victim.

But could those witnesses be held legally responsible?

Newschannel 3 was the first to show the video that captures 24-year-old Jheryl Wright as he was gunned down in the fall of 2012 in front of the Quick Stop convenience store.

But what has outraged many of our viewers, and the victim's family is how no one stopped to help.

There has been a lot of strong reaction from people who have watched the video, and many have wanted to know if any of the witnesses that can be seen walking past Jheryl Wright could actually be charged with a crime.

While the video has outraged many, it turns out there is no law in Michigan that requires someone to help.

"You can be upset about what they did and the aftermath of it, but they certainly didn't help to perpetrate the murder or assault," said Becket Jones, with the Hills Law Office.

The video shows several people walking around and over Wright's body and continuing to do business in the store.

But Jones says a law requiring people to help would be difficult to enforce.

"It would be a completely subjective law," he said. "You would have to try to place yourself in the moment the person was in and say what should that person have done."

Some accountability is just what Wright's family is asking for, though, and they still can't help but be angry about what they saw.

The Kalamazoo County Prosecutor's Office says it can't comment on the case, but says in cases like this, there isn't any crime that witnesses could be charged with.

Michigan does have a good Samaritan law, but what it does is protect a person who does try to help someone from danger later being sued.

Only Minnesota and Vermont have laws to compel people to try to help another person who is hurt or in danger.