ROSEVILLE — A suspect has been arraigned on a second-degree murder charge in connection to the shooting death of a 37-year-old Harrison Township man at approximately 12:40 a.m. Oct. 20 at Dooley’s Irish Tavern in Roseville, located at 32500 Gratiot Ave.
According to the Roseville Police Department, witnesses reported that a Clinton Township man — later identified by police as 21-year-old Nolan Baca — was arguing with the Harrison Township man in the tavern’s bathroom, and it escalated into a physical altercation. Baca allegedly produced a firearm and shot the Harrison Township man. The Harrison Township man would later be declared dead at the hospital, according to the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office.
Roseville officers reportedly arrived on the scene shortly afterward and found the suspect being detained at gunpoint by another bar patron. Baca was taken into custody without further incident, police said.
Roseville police officials advised caution whenever confronted with a potentially dangerous individual, but they confirmed that the bar patron who detained the suspect until police arrived was acting within the law.
“A private citizen does have the right to make an arrest/detention of someone who has committed a felony in their presence,” Roseville Police Chief Ryan Monroe said in an email. “In this particular incident, that individual was well within the scope of the law to do what they did. I always encourage citizens to call the police immediately when they witness a crime and only act when they absolutely feel it is necessary. This individual felt he had to act and prevented the suspect from leaving before the police arrived.”
The office of Macomb County Prosecutor Eric Smith elaborated on the circumstances in a statement released on Facebook.
“The victim’s brother-in-law wrestled the gun away from the defendant and shouted for someone to call 911,” the statement says. “The defendant proceeded to run toward the parking lot, the victim’s brother-in-law following after him, the defendant’s gun still in hand. Other individuals became engaged in the dispute. Police were able to secure the scene without further incident, and recover the murder weapon, determined to be registered to the defendant. The defendant, however, did not have a (concealed pistol license) and should not have had the weapon inside a bar.”
Baca was arraigned in 39th District Court Oct. 22. He was charged with one count of second-degree murder, one count of felony firearm and one count of carrying a concealed weapon. Bond was denied for Baca, and he was transported to the Macomb County Jail. His next court date is a preliminary hearing scheduled for Oct. 30 in 39th District Court.
Baca had not retained or been assigned an attorney prior to publication.
“Once again, our County is grieving the tragic death of a young man, due to a completely senseless act of violence. This blatant disregard for the lives of (others) must stop. We will continue to prosecute these individuals who threaten our communities to the fullest extent of the law,” Smith stated in the same social media post.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to the Roseville Police Department. The swift, vigilant actions of the officers who were first on the scene ensured that no other tragedy occurred,” Smith stated.