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Westminster man charged after allegedly shooting toward individuals from window

Westminster man charged after allegedly shooting toward individuals from window
Michael Ernest Melton (Courtesy Photo)

A Westminster man was arrested Thursday after he allegedly fired a shot toward a group of individuals using an illegally possessed rifle.

Michael Ernest Melton, 36, of the 500 block of Bear Branch Road, was charged with 12 counts including three counts of first-degree assault and one count each of illegal possession of a firearm and use of a firearm in commission of a felony.

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He was being held awaiting bail review as of close of courts Friday. A bail review is scheduled for Monday, June 18, according to electronic court records.

According to the statement of probable cause, Carroll County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a Westminster residence for a report of possible shots fired Thursday evening. A deputy familiar with Melton was able to make contact with Melton, who was described as compliant throughout the encounter.

Melton said he had not fired a gun and was not in possession of firearms. He said another person present at the residence had left and, shortly after, someone had cut power to the residence. Then, multiple individuals had pounded on the door seeking to assault him, at which time he barricaded the door, according to the statement.

Deputies spoke to another man who said Melton had argued with the other individual before that person left. The man told police that approximately 10 minutes later, he was standing outside the residence with two other women when Melton leaned out a window and threatened to kill them if they didn’t leave, according to the statement.

Melton then fired a shot from the rifle and reloaded it. The man recorded the event on video. One of the women also told police that Melton had threatened to shoot the individuals and then fired one shot from the window, according to the statement.

A single casing was found on the deck below the window where the shot was allegedly fired. Police then located a firearm and ammunition in Melton’s room. Melton is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition due to a previous conviction for assault and a standing protective order, according to the statement.

Deputies spoke to Melton again, who admitted to firing the rifle in an attempt to scare the individuals outside because they were threatening him, he said, according to the statement.

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