NILES — Michigan State Police are investigating whether a deadly shooting minutes into the New Year was accidental.
Jose Mercedes Ramirez-Velazquez died after being shot in the chest during a party at his home, 1738 Cass St., Niles, according to a Michigan State Police-Niles Post news release.
When police arrived, Ramirez-Velazquez was lying in the driveway. He was taken to Lakeland Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Police were called at 12:19 a.m. and quickly learned a neighbor brought the handgun to the party. Initial statements to police from Ramirez-Velazquez's family and friends indicated the shooting was accidental. Alcohol may have been a factor, police said.
The neighbor was taken into custody. Police have not released his name pending his arraignment in Berrien County court.