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Puffy protege fired gun, lawyer says

NEW YORK (AP) — Jamal "Shyne" Barrow, a protege and co-defendant of rap mogul Sean "Puffy" Combs, fired his gun inside a Times Square nightclub, Barrow's attorney told jurors in closing arguments Monday.

"I'm going to make your job a little bit easier," Ian Niles said. "I'm going to tell you Jamaal had a gun."

It was the first time the defense had made the admission, but Niles said Barrow was justified: "He had that gun because he had been shot at just a few weeks earlier."

Barrow, 21, is charged with attempted murder and assault. Combs, 31, and his bodyguard, Anthony "Wolf" Jones, 34, whose lawyers were also scheduled to present closing arguments Monday, are charged with gun possession and bribery for allegedly trying to pay Combs' driver, Wardell Fenderson, to take the gun rap for Combs.

Niles said the three people injured in Club New York on Dec. 27, 1999, were hit by shots fired by someone other than Barrow.

He said Barrow fired his weapon at the ceiling, acting only in self-defense after a disturbance broke out in which another man began "yelling that he was going to kill Shyne."

Ballistics tests showed that a gun police found in Barrow's waistband had been fired twice, while witnesses testified hearing three to six shots. Niles contended that the other gunman remains at large.

Niles told the jury that Justice Charles Solomon is going to instruct them that a person may use deadly force to protect himself.