Court documents: victim was selling vape cartridges when Elwood shooting took place

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – Michael Sells was arrested on a number of charges after allegedly shooting 19-year-old Nicholas Mentock while Mentock was selling him vape THC cartridges, according to the probable cause affidavit.

Sells, 23, was charged with robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, armed robbery, possession of methamphetamine, and carrying a handgun without a license.

At 8:10 p.m. on Thursday, officers with the South Bend Police Department responded to a hospital for a shooting victim.

The shooting victim, identified as Mentock, was found to have a gunshot wound in his back and was later found to be paralyzed from the chest down.

Mentock’s fiancé told officers that she and Mentock were in the alleyway near Adams and Elwood when Mentock was shot by Sells, according to reports.

Officers interviewed Mentock’s fiancé but could not interview Mentock because he was being airlifted to another hospital.

Mentock’s fiancé said her and Mentock went to a house on Adams, near Elwood, to sell “vape THC cartridges” to a Michael Sells. The meetup was arranged via Facebook Messenger.

According to the fiancé, Sells and another man got into the backseat of the car with Mentock and his fiancé while another man stood outside the vehicle.

Sells then allegedly put a gun to Mentock’s back and told them to give him the stuff.

Mentock tried to drive off down the alley and Sells told him to stop or he would shoot him, reports said.

Sells then allegedly shot Mentock in the back.

Sells told Mentock’s fiancé not to tell anyone or the police, reports said.

Mentock’s fiancé then gave Sells the backpack containing the cartridges.

Sells and the other man in the vehicle got out and Mentock’s fiancé drove Mentock to the hospital.

The fiancé later identified Sells from a photo array.

A search warrant was performed on Sells’s home on Friday.

During the search, officers found the backpack containing the cartridges hidden in the home.

Sells and one of the men who was with him during the shooting were also found at the home and detained.  

Later, when putting Sells in an interview room at the police station, officers found a substance in Sells’s pocket that tested positive for methamphetamine, reports said.

Sells initially denied ever being at the house when the “deal” was taking place but admitted to communicating with Mentock’s fiancé on Facebook about the “deal,” according to reports.

He later admitted to being in the car that night.

Sells said his “cousin” didn’t have the money, so Sells pulled out the gun.

When Mentock started to drive away, Sells told him to stop or he would shoot, he said.

The firearm then discharged, according to reports.

The man standing outside the vehicle initially claimed he had no knowledge of the incident but was instead sleeping inside.

Eventually, he admitted to being outside the vehicle when the incident took place.

He said Sells and the other man were in the backseat of the vehicle when he heard a gunshot.

He then ran away scared.

The initial hearing for Sells is set for May 5.

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