A young man with a lot of promise took a gun to a marijuana deal.
As a result, his former friend was gravely wounded.
Now, the young man is going to prison.
The shooting on Janesville’s near west side Nov. 7, 2016, was replayed in Rock County Court on Friday as Judge Michael Haakenson sentenced Janesville resident Nando M. Enis, 21, to prison for eight years.
Fourth Ward neighbors will remember the events that came after the shooting, as heavily armed police with an armored car laid siege to a house, looking for the three suspects in the shooting.
Enis and two others had met Mandrick T.J. Teich, 19, on a Fourth Ward street so Teich could sell marijuana to Enis, according to the criminal complaint.
But Enis argued about the weed’s quality. Teich tried to take it back, and that’s when two shots were fired, according to the complaint.
Defense attorney Steven Zaleski said the gun went off accidentally as the two struggled. But Assistant District Attorney Mary Bricco blamed Enis.
Enis was originally charged with party to attempted first-degree intentional homicide and robbery by use of force, but he pleaded guilty to first-degree recklessly endangering safety.
Haakenson said Teich still has a bullet in his shoulder, and Teich is described as not the same carefree, happy person he was before being shot.
Teich’s grandmother, Patricia Teich, said Enis and T.J. were friends, and she thinks about the shooting every day. She said it’s hard to see T.J.’s scars and how he reacts to everyday events.
Bricco said Enis, his family and Enis’ school mentors say Enis isn’t a bad person, that he just associated with bad people and made a mistake.
Those are excuses, Bricco said.
“To say he isn’t a bad person is inaccurate,” Bricco said. “I’m not saying he doesn’t have redeemable qualities. He is obviously intelligent. He had opportunities in his life, but he turned away from them. ... He is a violent felon, and that has to have consequences.”
Bricco said Enis pointed the gun at Teich, but Teich thought it was a joke and didn’t think his friend would shoot him.
“Nando Enis clearly didn’t care about the consequences of his behavior,” Bricco said. “He went to that drug deal recklessly carrying a loaded weapon when he knew the individual he was going to get the marijuana from. He had total disregard for T.J.’s life.”
Among those endangered were neighborhood residents, some of whom witnessed the daytime shooting and could have been hit by a stray bullet, Bricco said.
Bricco described a previous incident in which Enis, already on probation for a previous crime, was seen using gang signs and wearing gang colors.
Zaleski argued Enis was 20 at the time of the shooting and that his character and brain are still developing, and he showed promise in school as a leader and friend and participant in sports.
It’s tragic that Enis came so far and “almost made it,” Zaleski said.
“But he was using marijuana, and he fell into problems that coincide with that,” Zaleski said.
Bricco said Enis had a difficult youth, and his father moved him from a tough Chicago neighborhood to Janesville in ninth grade.
His mother had drug problems and was not involved in his life, officials said.
Even so, Bricco said Enis graduated with his class, which is rare in such situations.
“He had opportunities. He had people who would help him. But he turned his back on that. He chose a life of crime. He chose a violent lifestyle. He chose drugs over what the mentors had offered him, over what this community had offered him,” Bricco said.
Enis told the judge his time in jail as his case proceeded has affected him, and he wants to change.
“I have learned that suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance produces character, and character produces hope for the future,” Enis said, using words from the New Testament Book of Romans.
Haakenson quoted from a statement by a mentor at Craig High School. The mentor guided him through college applications, but Enis later pushed that aside, Haakenson said.
The pre-sentence report on Enis said he needs treatment for drugs, cognitive problems and anger, Haakenson said.
Haakenson said he must protect the community, make sure Enis gets treatment, and send a message that people who take on the responsibility of carrying a weapon must pay if things go wrong.
Enis has already spent 471 days in jail, so the eight years was reduced by that amount. He also must serve 10 years of extended supervision after his release, a time when he could get supervision and treatment, Haakenson ruled.
Haakenson told Enis that after he gets out of prison, “Go to the people who are positive, not the people who are leading you astray. And frankly, you know this. You’re a smart kid.”