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Shooting of 17-year-old Alabama girl compared to Trayvon Martin case

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

The Trayvon Martin case has gripped Americans since February 26, but Florida isn’t the only state reeling from the shooting of a 17-year-old at the hands of a man who claims he acted in self-defense.

A coastal community next door in Alabama is suffering over its own tragic episode that shares some similarities with the Sanford, Fla. case.

The Mobile Press-Register reported that 17-year-old Summer Moody, a star high school volleyball player in Baldwin County, Ala., was shot in the head April 15 after authorities said she and three other teens were caught breaking into a fish camp early in the morning.

Three men who found the teens trespassing on the Gravine Island property admitted to firing the shots that hit Moody.

Authorities said they believe the teens — who, with the exception of Moody, have been charged with first-degree burglary — were committing a theft at the time of the shooting.

Moody is still alive, but an attorney for her family has said she has a very little chance of survival.

The Gravine Island shooting has been compared to the Martin case because both victims were the same age and both cases involve questions of whether the shooters were within the boundaries of the law in shooting the teens in order to, according to the shooters’ accounts, protect themselves and their property.

“All the circumstances that could go bad went bad,” Baldwin County Sheriff Huey “Hoss” Mack said, according to the newspaper.

Tom Dasinger, an attorney for one of the shooters, said the men were not actually trying to kill the teens, but were rather firing warning shots to keep them away.

“They are not vigilantes,” Dasinger told WPMI in Mobile. “They were simply trying to help out their neighbors.”

The district attorney in Baldwin County has not charged the shooters with any crime.

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