MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — A man was charged Monday with murder for allegedly shooting and killing a baby in Muskegon last week and his brother was charged with opening fire on the officers who were investigating.
Julio Casiano, 21, was arraigned in a Muskegon County courtroom on a count of open murder in the death of 6-month-old A’Dourr Malone and a count of lying to a police officer during a felony investigation.
A’Dourr is not believed to have been Casiano’s intended target, prosecutors said.
“The indications are that Mr. Casiano just indiscriminately opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon at a group of individuals, striking a residence, killing a 6-month-old child,” Muskegon County Prosecutor’s Office Chief Trial Attorney Matt Roberts told the court. “These circumstances are just truly horrific, truly tragic and really are a consequence and the nightmare scenario that we all envision when we talk about gun violence and how indiscriminate gun violence can be…”
Casiano’s brother, Tollie Hatcher, 25, was charged with two counts of assault with intent to commit murder and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Investigators say A’Dourr was shot Friday afternoon while inside a home on E. Isabella Avenue near Ransom Street, east of Peck Street. In court, the judge said the police affidavit he had showed she was shot in the head. She was rushed to the hospital, where she died.
“We had an opportunity to meet … with the baby’s family earlier today and as you can imagine, they are just beyond grief stricken and no words of comfort here can do anything,” Roberts said. “But it is important for us and incumbent on us as law enforcement and as prosecutors to seek justice for this baby.”
Muskegon police said they got information a pickup truck parted in front of the house was somehow involved and soon spotted it. They tried to pull it over but said the driver took off. Officers gave chase, saying they followed the truck for 20 minutes before the chase came to an end.
The four people in the pickup were arrested. The 17-year-old driver was arrested for fleeing and eluding. The other people in the car were a 23-year-old Muskegon man who lives at the home on Isabella, a 19-year-old Muskegon man and another 17-year-old. They are believed to have been the intended targets of the shooting, police said. Roberts said that besides the driver, the others in the truck were not expected to be charged in connection to the shooting.
The investigation led police to set up surveillance of a home on 8th Street near Keating Avenue in Muskegon Heights. At arraignment, Roberts told the court that Hatcher admitted to using a rifle to fire multiple shots at a cruiser as it drove past his house. Neither of the two officers inside were hit.
Police set up a perimeter, at which point Casiano, Hatcher and a third man gave themselves up.
The third man, a 22-year-old who is also brothers with Casiano and Hatcher, was charged with a probation violation.
Casiano’s bond was denied Monday, with the judge citing the seriousness of the offense and danger to the public. Hatcher’s bond was set at $250,000 cash or surety. Both are expected back in court April 24. If convicted, they could spend the rest of their lives in prison.