Man in custody in connection with shooting death

Man in custody in connection with shooting death



A 29-year-old Pleasant Prairie man is in custody pending charges of first-degree reckless homicide in the shooting death early Tuesday of a Kenosha man, according to the Kenosha Police Department.

Carl Nichols, 26, died from an apparent single gunshot wound to his chest, according to police. The suspect, Roland Garza, was questioned on Tuesday and held on four counts of bail jumping.

Officers responded at 2:55 a.m. Tuesday for a possible medical call at a duplex at 916 47th St. Police said officers were met outside the residence by Garza, who told them the person they were looking for was in the upper unit.

Nichols was found in the living room, seated on the floor against a couch with his head slumped over into his chest and a handgun in his right hand, according to the police report. Officers said they located a small hole in his shirt and blood on his chest.

Paramedics performed live-saving measures for about 30 minutes. Nichols was declared dead at 3:37 a.m.

Garza said he and Nichols were drinking whiskey, smoking marijuana and playing cards when the incident occurred, according to the police report.

Suicide claim

Police said when officers entered the residence and found Nichols gasping for air, Garza shouted, “He grabbed a gun and shot himself!”

Police said Garza’s account of the incident changed numerous times. Garza stated at one point the gun went off accidentally and he placed the weapon on top of Nichols’ lap to make it appear he shot himself, according to the police report.

On the phone

A witness told officers he was talking to Nichols on the phone when the shooting occurred. The man said he and Nichols were joking around during their phone conversation when Nichols suddenly said, “Dude, he just shot me.”

The caller said he was caught off guard and confused. He asked Nichols to repeat himself when Nichols replied, “Yeah, he just shot me” just seconds before the call ended. 

Police said Garza made the initial 911 call. Garza was taken to the Kenosha Detective Bureau, where he told investigators Nichols was depressed about losing custody of his child and discussed ending his life.

A witness told detectives Nichols had relations with Garza’s ex-girlfriend. Nichols told the witness he was concerned Garza was stalking him, according to the police report.