KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — A man accused of shooting two people outside a Kalamazoo convenience store, killing one of them, went to an orthodontist appointment immediately after the shooting, court documents say.
The shooting happened around 10:50 a.m. Sept. 28 outside a now-shuttered Circle K on W. Lovell Street at Oakland Drive. Tyrone Potts, 35, a father of five, was killed. Another man was shot multiple times but and injured. Brendan Smith, 31, of Kalamazoo, was arrested Monday and charged with open murder.
Surveillance video from the Circle K shows a white Dodge Journey pull up alongside the black SUV Potts was driving, after which nine shots were fired. The Journey then drove away.
A probable caused document written by a Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety investigator and filed with the court indicated police used surveillance cameras, license plate readers and cellphone records to track the Journey and Smith the day of the killing, putting him in the area of the shooting when it happened.
The document says a license plate reader recorded the plate number of the car, which police say was licensed to Smith. That led them down a path to his phone number and they filed a request with the provider to get the cell records.
One surveillance camera image showed the driver of the Journey toss something out of the window on Academy Street, which runs east-west a couple blocks north of Lovell. A police who officer went to look found a spent 9 mm bullet casing with the brand name Blazer on it. Police say they found a matching cartridge at the scene of the shooting and ammunition of the same type when they searched Smith’s home the next day. They say Smith has a 9 mm Glock registered to him, though it wasn’t in his home when they searched it.
License plate readers and more surveillance video allowed investigators to map the Journey’s path away from the Circle K. Police say Smith’s cellphone records align with the places and times recorded by the readers and videos.
When police searched Smith’s home, they found paperwork indicating he had an orthodontist’s appointment schedule for the morning of the shooting. They were ultimately able to confirm that Smith showed up for that appointment between 10 and 15 minutes after the shooting. Google Maps shows it’s an about 11-minute drive between the convenience store and the orthodontist’s office.
After the appointment, plate readers and surveillance video tracked the Journey getting on to I-94 and headed west. Smith’s phone pinged around noon on I-94 west of Paw Paw. License plate readers put the Journey in Chicago later on Sept. 28.
The Journey was ultimately found on Oct. 5 by Chicago police. When Kalamazoo police searched it, they found two more spent 9mm casings.
An autopsy revealed Potts died of four gunshot wounds, the court document says.
On Monday, KDPS could not provide an update on the condition of the man who was injured.
Police also said they were still investigating whether Smith and Potts knew one another, but that the shooting did not appear to be random.