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 today (March 12) i

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 today (March 12) in a New York court. ''I'm going to make your job a little bit easier,'' Ian Niles said. ''I'm going to tell you Jamal had a gun.''

It was the first time the defense had made the admission, but Niles claimed 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, are charged with gun possession and bribery for allegedly trying to pay Combs' driver, Wardell Fenderson, to take the gun rap for Combs.

Jones' lawyer, Michael Bachner, noted that no one ever testified they saw Jones with a gun inside Club New York on Dec. 27, 1999, although Fenderson said he saw one in Jones' waistband as they left. He told the jurors that if Jones had been carrying one he probably would have drawn it during the disturbance in the club.

Bachner contended a pistol that police found in their car belonged to Fenderson, who avoided charges in exchange for testifying against the others. He said Fenderson claimed Combs had bribed him into taking the gun as a way to explain why he had changed his own account of events.

Niles contended that the three people injured in the club 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.''

Police tests showed that the gun 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.

Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.