Gunfire erupts during child custody transfer at police station

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published October 4, 2021

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WARREN — An exchange of gunfire during a parental custody transfer of a young child at a Warren police substation Sept. 18 left one man wounded and another other facing charges.

The shooting took place at about 4:40 p.m. after the child’s mother and father met at the Civic Center South station on Van Dyke Avenue, north of Nine Mile Road. The mother was accompanied by her boyfriend.

“We had three CPL holders. Two of them were armed and there was an exchange of gunfire,” Warren Police Lt. David Kriss said.

The child’s father and the mother’s boyfriend allegedly fired shots after a verbal exchange in the parking lot.

“The mom showed up with the boyfriend. They had the child. They transferred custody to the dad. The dad put the child in his van, and then there was an exchange of words,” Kriss said. “The mom and her boyfriend backed out of the parking spot and were starting to drive away when the dad ran over to the car.”

Police said it appeared on video that the child’s father, identified by police as Warren Ndjipa, 23, may have tried to pull the boyfriend out of the car. An exchange of gunfire followed and the boyfriend, 26, was shot in the face.

“The boyfriend was shot in the nose,” Kriss said. “The bullet traveled around and lodged underneath his ear. He’s in stable condition. He’s expected to survive.”

Ndjipa was arraigned in the 37th District Court Sept. 20 on two counts of assault with intent to murder, one count of assault with a dangerous weapon and felony weapons charges. Judge Michael Chupa set bail at $500,000 cash or surety, and Ndjipa was ordered to wear a tether if released on bail ahead of his next court appearance.

Police said no charges were sought against the boyfriend and no other injuries were reported.

“Thankfully, the child or other innocent residents were not hurt during this incident,” Warren Police Commissioner William Dwyer said.

Ndjipa’s court appointed attorney, Kenneth Vernier, could not be reached for comment at press time.