Police: $85 triggered shooting

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Gina Duwe
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Friday's shooting on Janesville's south side stemmed from a drug debt, a Janesville police sergeant said.

Michael Hooker, 27, rural Beloit, told police he went to the home of De Adrick J. Vance Sr. after work Friday afternoon to pay $85 he owed Vance. Vance told Hooker he owed double that and shot Hooker in the neck, according to a criminal complaint.

Rock County prosecutors on Monday charged Vance, 34, of 2807 Afton Road, Janesville, with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. He appeared in court by video from jail, and Court Commissioner Charles Holznecht agreed with the prosecution's recommendation for a $100,000 cash bond.

Janesville police Sgt. Jim Holford said statements made by a witness and by Hooker indicate the shooting was over a drug debt Hooker had with Vance.

Vance shook his head as Assistant District Attorney Anne Nack read the allegations against him. Assistant Public Defender Shanna Knueppel appeared with Vance, arguing for a $5,000 to $10,000 bond in part because he is a lifelong resident of Rock County with strong ties to the area.

"He (Vance) has stated from day one that this was an accident," she said. "It was not intentional. Certainly there are competing inferences there."

According to the criminal complaint: Vance told police he reached down to pick up his gun from the coffee table and it "accidentally" went off, shooting Hooker. Vance said he jumped up and got a towel and held it on Hooker.

Hooker told police a different version. He said he cashed his paycheck Friday and went with a friend to Vance's house to repay him $85. Hooker was about a week late in repaying Vance, Hooker told police at the hospital.

Vance was irritated and said Hooker owned him double, Hooker said.

Hooker said he told Vance, "I'm sorry, it will never happen again."

Hooker said Vance responded by saying, "Yeah, you will never forget that again." Vance then grabbed his handgun from behind the couch, pointed the gun at Hooker's face and pulled the trigger, Hooker told police.

The bullet paralyzed Hooker. He sat on a loveseat and knew he was bleeding but could not move, he said.

Hooker said Vance told him to "Get the f—- out of my house."

Hooker's friend told police he watched TV while the men discussed the money, and he confirmed Hooker's apology and Vance's reaction before he heard a "bang."

The friend looked at Hooker on the loveseat and saw what he thought was cushion material flying in the air, then blood coming from Hooker's neck or face. The friend said he feared for his own life and ran out of the house and called 911.

Vance's wife was home at the time. She told police she heard a "pop," and then Hooker's friend ran out of the house yelling multiple times, "He's shot in the face." The wife was expecting her children home from school on the bus soon, so she called her son to tell him to get off at a different location where she would pick him up.

Vance sounded calm when he called his wife, who asked him if he had called 911, she said. Vance calmly replied, "no," and his wife asked again, and told him to call 911. She hung up and proceeded to pick up her children.

She told police it is common for Vance to keep the handgun loaded on a table behind the couch.

While Hooker sat paralyzed on the loveseat, he said Vance put items away, including an Amazon box, "bongs and some hash." Vance then gave him with a towel for his neck and told him to "put pressure on it." Vance went outside, and Hooker sat on the couch until police arrived.

Hooker was taken to Mercy Hospital and Trauma Center, where he was moved to a rehabilitation unit on Monday and where his condition was reported as good, stable and improved since Sunday.

Last updated: 8:14 am Monday, April 29, 2013

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