DETROIT (AP) – A 66-year-old great-grandfather told police he was filled with anger and alcohol when he shot two women with an assault rifle in a Detroit retirement home, enraged at what he believed were their persistent intrusions into his relationship with another woman.
Mike Reda’s videotaped interrogation with Detroit police detectives was played in court Thursday during a hearing at which a judge determined there was enough evidence for him to stand trial on two counts of first-degree murder, assault with intent to murder and other felony charges. He’s accused of shooting Deborah Socia, 59, and Maria Gonzalez, 61, on Oct. 20 at the two-story, 80-unit Pablo Davis Elder Living Center on the city’s southwest side.
“I was drunk, I was angry,” Reda told investigators. “I just couldn’t take it no more.”
Reda said during the interrogation on the day after the shootings that he was retired, lived alone at the center and had seven children as well as more than two dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He had dated the same woman for several years, but said the two women had befriended her and frequently kept the girlfriend away from him.
He said he’d been drinking brandy and couldn’t remember most details of the day, but later in the interview told the two detectives that he approached Socia and another man, Paul Fratangelo, on the center’s grounds with his MP5 rifle. Reda said his rifle discharged one time “by accident.”
Reda said he then went inside to Gonzalez’s apartment, kicked in her door and shot her twice in the head.
He asked detectives twice if the women were alive or dead, and at the end of the interview one investigator told him they were dead. Reda paused, sighed heavily and said, “That’s really bad.”
Defense attorney Bryan Sherer declined comment before and after the hearing. Friends and family members of the victims also declined comment outside court.
Fratangelo testified that he was sitting on a bench with Socia, smoking a cigarette and talking before dinner, when Reda walked toward them. Fratangelo, 61, said Reda swung his weapon back and forth between the two while ordering Fratangelo to “basically get on my knees and pray.”
“I said, `Mike, not this. Not like this. We’re both vets.’ I’m basically pleading with my life,” Fratangelo said, adding that Reda seemed “on edge” but “very composed.”
Fratangelo said Socia asked Reda what he was doing, and he fired his gun one time. Afterward, Fratangelo said he entered the building and tried to trap Reda between two sets of doors. Fratangelo then “bolted down the hall,” told Socia’s son that “Mike is on a rampage” and to “call 911.”
The judge struck down Sherer’s argument that Fratangelo wasn’t injured or threatened so his client shouldn’t be held on the charge of assault with intent to murder.
Reda’s first appearance in trial court is scheduled for Monday.
Follow Jeff Karoub on Twitter:
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes