Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Michigan: Police: Dad shot son dead during home invasion

Battle Creek, Michigan

From the Lansing State Journal of October 1, 2008
Police: Dad shot son dead during home invasion

A Battle Creek man who allegedly shot and killed his stepson Monday night has been released from custody as the police investigation continues.

Gary Prado, 49, was questioned and then released after Battle Creek police said he shot James L. Keck, 30, of Scotts.

Detectives said it appears Keck broke into the house at 51 S. Mason St. and was shot as he was attempting to force his way into a bedroom where Prado, Darlene Prado, 48 - his wife and Keck's mother - and Gary Prado's 11-year-old daughter had taken refuge.

An autopsy Tuesday showed Keck was shot four times, including once in the center of the chest, and he was pronounced dead at the scene. Police reported the shooting at 6:57 p.m.

**Update November 1, 2008**
From the Battle Creek Inquirer of October 31, 2008
'Man was shot in self-defense'

The Battle Creek man who shot his stepson in September killed him in self-defense, Calhoun County's prosecutor ruled.

In a letter Thursday to the Battle Creek Police Department, Prosecutor John Hallacy said charges won't be brought against Gary Prado, 49, in the shooting of James L. Keck.

"I am glad I am cleared of the charges because I didn't have any wrong doing," Prado said Thursday. "He said he was going to kill all of us and that is when I went into defense mode. I had to protect my family."

Battle Creek police said Keck was shot and killed inside Prado's Urbandale home just before 7 p.m. on Sept. 29.

The investigation showed Keck had threatened Prado and his wife (Keck's mother) and had broken into the house and was trying to force his way into the bedroom where Prado, his wife and his 11-year-old daughter had taken refuge.

"(Prado) and his wife requested that Mr. Keck not come to the residence," Hallacy wrote, "they locked the residence, they contacted 911, they retreated to a bedroom in the home, they closed the door to the bedroom and placed a dresser in front of the door, Mr. Prado warned Mr. Keck he was armed and finally Mr. Prado fired a warning shot before the fatal shots were discharged.

"Law provides protection to those who act to defend themselves and others who may be in danger," Hallacy concluded. "Based upon the facts and the law it is clear that Mr. Prado's actions were provided the protection of the law, in that he acted in self-defense when he shot and killed Mr. Keck."

Prado said Thursday he believes Keck had been drinking or smoking marijuana and was after him but Keck also had made threats against his mother.

"I heard the word kill and you go into protection mode to protect your family," Prado said.

"I couldn't take the chance," Prado said. "I took a vow to protect her and being her husband I took the vows very sacredly and unfortunately I could not let him get the chance to hurt her. Something snapped in him that night and I couldn't take the chance of him hurting my wife."

Prado said the shooting continues to haunt him.

"I loved my son, he had a lot of good points and a lot of bad points. I have nightmares and wake up in the middle of the night. I have a 24-7 reminder of what I did. I have a constant reminder of what has happened to me."

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