OAKLAND – An Oakland man was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison for possession of ammunition that he accidentally fired in the groin area, court records show.

Nicolas West, 23, pleaded guilty last June to possession of ammunition in connection with the July 7, 2021 shooting. Video footage showed he fired several shots at an att*cker who opened fire outside a liquor store near junctions 77th and Bancroft Avenue, prosecutors said. The verdict was handed down at the end of last month.

Federal prosecutors demanded three years in prison, writing in a short sentence that West “recklessly fired several rounds of ammunition across the road, ignoring pedestrians.”

West’s attorney, assistant federal public attorney Joyce Leavitt, wrote that West grew up surrounded by gun violence and was “deeply traumatized” as a child. She said she was aware of the seriousness of the crime, but was also a victim. She wrote that in light of the incident, he “reassessed his life choices.”

“It cannot be sufficiently said that Mr. West is the victim in this case. The att*cker ran over and shot Mr. West and the others, killing another person, ”Leavitt wrote. Later she added, “Lord. West realizes he shouldn’t have shot … But trying to defend Mr. West is understandable, even if it’s unacceptable. “

Police say there were at least three shooters, and Johnny Armstrong, 49, was shot and killed during the shooting. It is unclear whether he was a bystander or the intended target of the shooter. So far, no one has been charged with killing Armstrong.

West was identified after he showed up at Highland Hospital after a gunshot wound, wearing the same outfit he was seen in on video surveillance of a liquor store. According to the complaint, he was not allowed to possess any weapons or ammunition due to a gun conviction in 2017.

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