(MONROE CO.) – A Monroe County man is behind bars after he mistakenly shot his friend early Thursday morning.
According to Monroe County Sheriff Brad Swan, deputies arrived at a home in the 3800 block of Knightridge Road, after dispatch received a 911 call from a person at that residence stating a male was outside the residence and may have been shot.
When deputies arrived they found the body of 43-year-old James “Mike” Troxal. He had suffered a gunshot wound to his chest.
Troxal has been living at the home for the last two weeks in a garage on the property.
Sheriff Swan says Troxal came into the house to get a drink, then left. Soon after they heard a “loud boom” and looked outside and saw Troxal staggering toward the house.
Police say the home belongs to 62-year-old Garry Hicks and his common-law wife 59-year-old Sandra Ritter. A neighbor was also visiting the home at the time of the shooting.
As police conducted their investigation, they said the neighbor who was in the home left at one point Thursday morning for a doctor appointment. She called dispatch a few minutes later to say she found a shotgun in her car. Police collected it.
They determined Hicks had recently become worried that someone was trying to rob him and would reportedly patrol his property at night with his shotgun. Detectives learned Hicks seemed to have declined in mental capacity recently.
According to Sheriff Swan, Troxal was returning to the garage when Hicks was on one of his patrols. Hicks mistook Troxal as a robber and shot him.
Charges haven’t been filed, but Hicks is expected to be charged with murder and being a dangerous felon in possession of a firearm.
He has previous convictions for aggravated assault with a weapon in 1995 and 1999.
Police said a photo of Hicks was not available.