Two men charged after shots fired at Niles Twp. park
Published 9:11 am Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Two men are facing a charge of armed robbery after one of the men allegedly fired shots during an altercation with a group of teenagers at Fulkerson Park in Niles Township Saturday evening.
Jonathan David Wilkes, 34, of Niles, and Marlin Michael-Dupree Miller, 39, of Kalamazoo, were arraigned on several charges Monday in Berrien County Court in Niles.
Wilkes is being held on $150,000 bond and Miller on $200,000 bond.
Det. Fabian Suarez, of the Michigan State Police Niles Post, said the incident occurred at approximately 6:15 p.m. at Fulkerson Park, which is located at the corner of Fulkerson Road and 17th Street.
Suarez said two males arrived at the park in a van and began flashing gang signs at a group of four or five kids who were playing basketball at the park.
The two men left, Suarez said, but returned a short time later and a fistfight ensued.
According to court documents, one of the men pointed a gun at one of the teenagers and ordered him to place his belongings on the ground.
Suarez said at some point one of the suspects fired at least five shots, although it is not known if the shooter was aiming at the kids.
Suarez said no one was shot and police found five shell casings at the scene.
Suarez was unable to say which of the two suspects fired the gun.
The two men fled in the van, Suarez said, which was spotted by an off-duty reserve officer with the Niles Police Department who lives near the park. The reserve officer followed the vehicle and relayed its location to other law enforcement officers, who apprehended the suspects at Big Lots on South 11th Street in Niles.
Suarez said a 9mm handgun was found on one of the individuals.
The Berrien County Prosecutor’s office said the suspects were arraigned Monday on the following charges:
Wilkes — Armed robbery, carrying a concealed weapon and felony firearm
Miller — Armed robbery, assault with intent to murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, carrying a concealed weapon and felony firearm.