GOSHEN — A man charged in connection with a fatal shooting in Dunlap is scheduled to have his initial hearing this morning in Elkhart Circuit Court.
Cortez L. Wheeler, 24, is accused of killing Cordera Williams at Gemini Bar and Grill, 23845 U.S. 33. Williams died of a gunshot wound to the chest.
Elkhart County police were called to Gemini Nov. 23, 2012, in response to a report that a man had been shot. Officers found Williams in the bar’s entryway.
“The deputies observed that Mr. Williams was not breathing, and was bleeding from his chest and ears,” a probable cause affidavit filed in the case reads. “Blood had pooled around Mr. Williams’ body.”
Two women at the Gemini premises suffered finger wounds as a result of the shooting, according to the affidavit. A crime scene specialist with the sheriff’s department found nine spent handgun bullet casings in the parking lot.
A witness told police he was with Williams at Gemini prior to the shooting. He said he followed Williams out of the business into the parking lot. At one point, court documents read, “Mr. Williams was walking through the parking lot, he approached a group of individuals, (and) one of them, a black male, flashed a gun at (the witness).”
The witness indicated that after seeing the gun and thinking there was going to be a problem, he turned around and went back inside Gemini. The witness said he then heard four or five gunshots, and that glass fell over his head.
“After hearing the shots, (the witness) found Mr. Williams lying inside the Gemini shot,” the affidavit reads. “(The witness) indicated that he attempted to aid Mr. Williams, who was unresponsive.”
During the investigation, Elkhart County police investigators watched a video surveillance recording from Gemini. According to court documents, at one point in the recording, “The video shows (Wheeler) raise a gun in the direction of Mr. Williams and fire the gun just as Mr. Williams raises a gun in the direction of (Wheeler) and runs in the direction of the Gemini entrance.”
In addition to murder, Wheeler also faces a charge of being a serious violent felon in possession of a firearm. Wheeler was convicted of burglary, a Class B felony, on Dec. 31, 2007, in Elkhart Superior Court 2.