BAY CITY, MI -- In a dispute with his peers, a Bay City teenager reportedly fired off a round from a stolen firearm. Now, he faces eight felonies.
According to police reports contained in court files, officers at about 6:40 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4, responded to the area of 28th and Marsac streets for a reported fight involving a firearm. The person who called 911 said she had seen three boys beating up another boy before hearing a "pop sound" that prompted the parties to scatter.
Officers on scene spoke to a 15-year-old boy who said he was in his home when he looked outside and saw three boys he recognized walking east on 28th Street. They were calling for someone who was farther down the street, he told police.
A few moments later, the boy saw the trio running back the way they had come.
"The dude they were calling to was chasing them," he told police. "He was in the middle of the street. He had a black handgun in his right hand."
The pursuer stopped, took aim, and fired one shot at the trio, the teen said. The shooter then walked west on 28th, then north onto Wilson Street, he said. Two of the three that had been chased proceeded to walk after the shooter and continued shouting, the teen told police.
An adult witness told police she saw a blond teen standing outside, listening to music on his phone. She then noticed two young males approach him and a fight ensued. The two subjects had the first teen on the ground, but fled when the woman shouted to them that she was going to call the police.
"When they took off running, the kid with the blond hair pulled out what looked like a gun and I heard a pop," she told police.
Police met with other teens at the scene, who gave varying accounts of what had transpired. One, an 18-year-old, said he and friends were approached by a blond teen who started harassing them.
"We told him we weren't afraid of him and he pulled a gun on us," the teen said. "He was pointing the gun right at us. We tried to get the gun away from him because we didn't want to get shot. We couldn't get it away, so we took off running. He fired a shot."
Another teen said they were driving down the road on their way to a friend's house when they saw a teen they knew as 19-year-old Brandon T. Schalk walking down the street, flashing a gun. When they parked their car and approached their friend's house, Schalk began harassing them, then fired the gun, this teen said.
Officers found a .380-caliber cartridge in the street, court records show.
Police went to Schalk's home in the 1100 block of Garfield Avenue. They were met by his mother, who told them her son wasn't present. A moment later, Schalk exited the house, wearing a backpack.
Police recovered a Smith & Wesson .380-caliber pistol from Schalk's pocket. It featured a laser sight, had one bullet in the chamber, and three more in its magazine, court records show.
Officers searched Schalk's backpack and found two baggies of marijuana and a scale, court records show.
Schalk complained of head pain, so officers took him to McLaren Bay Region hospital. He was discharged shortly thereafter and lodged in the Bay County Jail.
Police later determined the pistol had been stolen from a home in Bay City's South End. The homeowner did not know the gun was missing, but told police he often leaves his home unlocked.
Bay County District Judge Timothy J. Kelly on Monday, Aug. 7, arraigned Schalk on four counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and single counts of carrying a weapon with unlawful intent, felony firearm, receiving and concealing a stolen firearm, and delivering or manufacturing marijuana. Assault with a dangerous weapon is a four-year felony. Felony firearm comes with a mandatory minimum two-year sentence, to be served consecutively to any other stint.
Responding to the judge's questions, Schalk said he's not employed and attended school until "like 11th grade." When Kelly asked Schalk if he wanted a court-appointed attorney, a woman in the gallery spoke up to say Schalk's family was hiring Edward M. Czuprynski to represent him.
Kelly set Schalk's bond at $500,000 cash-surety.
Schalk is to appear for a preliminary examination before District Judge Mark E. Janer at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 22.
Coincidentally, police responded to another shooting several hours earlier on Aug. 4. At about 2:30 a.m., they received reports of shots fired in the area of Columbus Avenue and Van Buren Street. They recovered shell casings, but obtained no other evidence, according to Bay City Public Safety Deputy Director Ed Bromberg.