Kalamazoo double shooting suspect charged with open-air murder in student death
KALAMAZOO, MI – A Battle Creek man already in jail for attempted murder has now been charged with the shooting death of Kalamazoo student Rachel Curl.
Ja’Shaun Markee Jones, 20, saw an amended open-air murder charge added on Tuesday, December 22 in Kalamazoo County District Court.
Curl, 20, from Benton Harbor, was a student at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, her friend Ari Dolge told MLive.
Dolge said Curl will be remembered as someone who was outgoing and “could make anyone in the room smile and laugh with her.”
“She always made sure everyone was okay,” Dolge said. “She wouldn’t leave anyone behind.”
Jones reportedly shot Curl in the Hidden Hills apartment complex, in the 4200 block of Hidden Hills Drive, near the Western Michigan University campus, around 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 17.
Curl died later that morning at Bronson Methodist Hospital.
The suspect was previously charged with assault with intent to kill 19-year-old Mattalis Buchanan Jr. the same night at the apartment complex.
Jones now faces eight counts of felony in the case, including open air murder, assault with intent to kill, two counts of discharging a gun into or against one building causing injuries, and four felony firearms charges.
He is due to return to Kalamazoo County District Court for a preliminary hearing on January 14.
Jones was already in jail on cash bond or $ 100,000 bail in the attempted murder case. His bond was raised to $ 1,000,000 on Tuesday.
On the night of the double shooting, officers had gone to the apartment where Curl was killed earlier to interrupt a party, Kalamazoo Public Safety Captain Craig Habel told MLive.
Upon their return after the shooting, cartridge cases were found by police inside the apartment, in the hallway and in the parking lot, Habel said.
The shooting was not the first to occur at the apartment complex in 2020.
Another double shot performed in Hidden Hills on September 6. In this case, a 26-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, both from Kalamazoo, were hospitalized, and a 37-year-old man from Grand Rapids was arrested. There were no fatalities in this incident.
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