Man testifies in Porterville shooting outside OfficeMax

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A man accused of shooting two people who were robbing him took the witness stand Friday. Kamhen Saleh who goes by Omar is being charged with murder. (KFSN)

A man accused of shooting two people who were robbing him took the witness stand Friday. Kamhen Saleh who goes by Omar is being charged with murder.

Omar Saleh walked into Tulare County court Friday ready to give his story -- testifying in his own defense. Saleh is accused of shooting and killing two men who stole a backpack filled with $44,000 from him in August 2013.

Saleh is charged with murder. His defense team says the shooting was self-defense and now jurors are hearing Saleh's side of the story. Cameras aren't allowed in the courtroom but inside Saleh spent almost three hours on the stand. He says he was inside a Porterville OfficeMax when he saw someone get into his car. Saleh says he ran to the car and began pulling his backpack away from someone in the backseat. That's when the man let go with one hand.

Saleh said, "I thought he was reaching for a gun or something." Saleh adds that the man pulled out a knife. "I thought he was going to stab me."

Saleh says he let go of the backpack and the man left. That's when Saleh reached for his gun and went around his car. He says he heard someone say hurry, run him over. Saleh says he began shooting at a tan SUV.

Saleh said, "I was shaking and super scared and the car was moving towards me. I felt like it was going to hit me."

Evidence shows there were eight shots into the SUV. Saleh says he got in his white Lexus and began following the SUV -- the two colliding on Henderson Avenue. He called 911 and went up to the SUV taking his backpack out. The district attorney's office asked him why he did that.

Saleh said, "I was still scared, my intent was to get anything away from them that could hurt me or anyone else."

In most cases the defendants don't take the witness stand. In this case Saleh's attorney said all the witnesses so far have seen a little bit of what happened and that his client is the only one that saw the whole thing.

Closing arguments are expected to happen next week.



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crimetrackerrobberyPorterville
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