Fiancee of man killed in bulletproof vest disputes various claims after shooting

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Fiancée of man killed in bulletproof vest disputes various claims after shooting

The fiancée of the man shot to death while wearing a bulletproof vest at a party says the shooting was drug-fueled.

"I just want it to be known what happened that night from someone who was actually there," said Mollie Tillman, who contacted Eyewitness News after hearing different stories about what happened.

RELATED: Man charged with fatally shooting man in bulletproof vest at Heights party

One thing is certain, her fiancé, Daniel Barber, is dead.

"Daniel was just so sweet. Sweetest man you'd ever meet and so funny," said Tillman.

Tillman says with a detox appointment scheduled last Monday, she and Barber hosted a party at their garage apartment on W. 23rd in the Heights last weekend.

"I was literally getting rid of everything in the house. I didn't want it there anymore. I wanted a fresh start with my husband," Tillman said.

She says Jason Griffin, 39, brought a gun and a bulletproof vest to the party. Barber tried it on. There was a gunshot and then the stories differ.

"Everybody keeps saying that Daniel said, 'shoot me. Let's try it.' Daniel would never say that because he knew the dangers of guns," Tillman said.

Mary Warstler is Griffin's girlfriend. She spoke to Eyewitness News on Sunday. She wasn't at the party but says she spoke to Griffin before he was arrested.

"He (Barber) said, 'shoot me' and he (Griffin) didn't think there was anything in it so he did. I feel so bad because he didn't mean to," Warstler said.

There are questions about whether Griffin knew the gun was loaded. Tillman said she unloaded it when he arrived. Warstler disputes that.

Griffin is charged with manslaughter, unlawful possession of body armor, and felon in possession of a weapon. He has hired high-profile attorney Mike DeGeurin, who tells Eyewitness News others at the party told police the shooting was an accident.

Griffin is in custody but remains hospitalized for a "medical issue," according to police. Warstler says he had a seizure.

"I think Daniel was just trying the vest on and Jason just wanted to show off that his vest worked," explained Tillman. "I forgive him. I forgive him and he needs to know that. He was just that messed up. He wasn't thinking right."
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