Suspects claim UM med student's death a break-in accident
According to the statements, the suspects broke into the victim's basement, startling him, and accidentally fired when they tried hitting him with a gun
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Two suspects in the fatal shooting of a University of Michigan medical student say they sneaked into Paul DeWolf's basement bedroom at his medical fraternity during a burglary attempt and that his shooting was unintended, according to police statements.
The Detroit Free Press reported Sunday that it obtained police statements from two men jailed on murder and home invasion charges in the death of Paul DeWolf, a 25-year-old prospective surgeon whose body was found July 24.
According to the statements, the suspects and a third man not yet charged in the case broke into Phi Rho Sigma medical fraternity and entered DeWolf's basement bedroom, startling him.
DeWolf went to get something from his dresser and one of the suspects tried to strike him with the gun, but it fired instead, according to the statements. Ann Arbor police Detective Katie Nucci recounted the statements at a Nov. 22 warrant hearing for Joei Jordan, 20, and Shaquille Jones, 21, the newspaper said.
Using data about a stolen computer, investigators tracked Jordan to Sumter County, S.C., and Jones to North Charleston, S.C.
A third suspect accused of firing the gun is jailed in Michigan on a bond violation in another case but hasn't been charged in DeWolf's killing.
DeWolf was a native of Schoolcraft in southwestern Michigan and a graduate of Grand Valley State University. He was attending medical school on an Air Force scholarship and held the rank of second lieutenant.
In her testimony, Nucci said Jordan entered through an open rear window as Jones and the third man remained outside. Jordan emerged a short time later with a PlayStation 3, taken from a basement recreation room in the house and hidden in his backpack, the detective said.
Jordan climbed back through the window and let the other two in through a rear door, Jones told detectives. Eventually, they ended up in the basement, where they hid in a utility closet when they heard two students coming down a hallway, Nucci testified.
The three of them then made their way to the room where DeWolf lived and entered.
Jones said DeWolf got out of bed "and was asking what was going on," the detective testified. She said Jones told investigators that the third suspect "pulled out a handgun and pointed it" at the medical student and "ordered DeWolf not to move."
"At some point DeWolf grabbed something off of his desk and/or drawer" and started to move toward the third suspect, at which time the man "raised the gun and attempted to strike DeWolf with the gun, and the gun at that time fired."
DeWolf screamed, and the suspects ran off, Nucci testified.
The next court dates are Thursday for Jones and Dec. 12 for Jordan.
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