June 4, 2014 at 11:26 pm

Eastpointe man arrested after money dispute ends in shooting of neighbor

Two men were involved in a fatal altercation in the driveway of a home in the 17700 block of Lincoln. (Charles V. Tines / The Detroit News)

Eastpointe — A dispute over money between two next-door neighbors, who police said were “good friends,” sparked a fatal shooting Wednesday morning.

Officers were dispatched about 10 a.m to the 17700 block of Lincoln, where the men, ages 57 and 47, were in a heated altercation that culminated with the younger man shooting the elder man, Eastpointe Police said. The older man was taken to St. John’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“My understanding was that these two gentlemen were good friends but obviously something happened to change that this morning,” Lt. Neil Childs said.

The initial police investigation reveals the victim owed money, believed to be in the hundreds of dollars, to the suspect, Childs said.

Neighbor Mikale Campos was inside his home next door to the older man when he heard the argument and a gunshot, prompting him to call 911.

“Next thing I know they’re talking about money, and he (the victim) said he wasn’t going to pay him (the neighbor), then he shot him. It was just that fast. Within a couple seconds, it was done and over with.”

The suspect was at the scene when police arrived and “was arrested without further incident,” police officials said.

Shortly after, police recovered two firearms, both handguns from the suspect’s home, one of which was used in the shooting, Childs said. However, neighbors said police carried away an M16-style assault rifle recovered from the scene.

“When the round went off, you knew high power was behind it,” Campos said. “I’ve heard gunshots before. I’ve been robbed and all kinds of stuff ... guns in these neighborhoods are not uncommon. I heard the high-caliber gun go off, and it was one shot. I didn’t hear any screams afterward.”

Police declined to specify the type of gun, but said the victim’s fatal gunshot wound was from a .45-caliber firearm.

Lamar Adams, the suspect’s cousin, was one of several family members who stood anxiously behind the police tape Wednesday afternoon hoping to learn the circumstances of the altercation.

“They aren’t telling me nothing,” he said. “I just got a call about my cousin, and I jumped in my truck.”

Adams said his cousin lived in the neighborhood for five years with his wife and 10-year-old son, who was still in school Wednesday morning.

“I’m hoping everything pans out all right,” he said.

David Rider, who lives across the street from both men, said he never saw the victim and suspect quarrel.

“They are more cordial than anything,” Rider said. “There hasn’t been any altercation between the two since I’ve been here, and I’ve been living here two years. It’s very shocking to me.”

Rider said the suspect gave his 6-year-old son a bicycle that his son outgrew last week, he said.

Campos, who moved into the neighborhood just a month ago, knew the suspect and victim.

“He was a real nice neighbor. Every time he would see me, he would wave and ask me if I wanted a beer,” he said about the victim.

Campos’ son also would play with the suspect’s 10-year-old.

“No amount of money in the world is going to bring him back ... the root of all evil,” he said.

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