Suspect In Manhattan Apt. Murder Waives Hearing

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

RILEY COUNTY, Kan. (WIBW) -- The Manhattan man charged in a shooting that left a Fort Riley soldier dead and several others wounded has decided to waive his preliminary hearing.

Matthew Wilson, 43, was scheduled to appear in Riley County District Court Tuesday and Wednesday for evidence to be presented to a judge to determine whether or not there is probable cause for his case to move forward in court. But Riley County Attorney Barry Wilkerson says Wilson waived his right to a preliminary hearing and is scheduled to appear in court again on July 1st for a formal arraignment.

Court documents indicate that Wilson stated he wanted to kill his neighbors when he burst into their apartment and started firing a gun, killing one and injuring three other people.

Wilson is charged with first degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and aggravated burglary stemming from the deadly shooting at the University Gardens Apartments on Garden Way in Manhattan, located off of Anderson Avenue.

Officers responded to the complex around 4:10 a.m. Sunday, April 7, 2013 to reports of multiple shots fired. When officers arrived on scene, they found multiple victims of gunshot wounds and a single suspect that was taken into custody.

Sgt. Michael T. Lowery, a 22-year-old U.S. Army Soldier with the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion Alpha Company at Fort Riley, was found dead at the scene. Lowery was a combat engineer who began his military career in 2009 and completed deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Christine Kim, 23, of Junction City, was airlifted to Via Christi Hospital in Wichita for medical treatment with gunshot wounds.

Alexya Mailea, 23, a Kansas State University student, was also transported to Via Christi with gunshot wounds.

Dustin Ferguson, 22-year-old U.S. Army Soldier, was also injured and was treated at Mercy Regional Health Center in Manhattan.

28-year-old U.S. Army Soldier Joel Solano, 24-year-old Erica Campos and 1-year-old Elyana Solano were present at the scene during the shooting but were not injured.

Wilson was taken into custody at the scene and remains in the Riley County Jail on $2 million bond.

Police indicated that Dustin Ferguson and Joel Solano lived in the same apartment together while the suspect, Wilson, lived in a neighboring unit at the complex. Michael Lowery did not live at the apartment with Ferguson and Solano but sources say it's possible Lowery was staying at the apartment. The soldiers are in the same unit. At the time, the 4th Brigade had recently returned from a deployment to Afghanistan.

The complaint filed against Wilson alleges that he opened fire inside the soldiers' apartment, killing Lowery and wounding Ferguson, Kim and Mailea. The document indicates that he stated "he was there to kill the men" and tried unsuccessfully enter Joel Solano's bedroom and "stated that he was going to shoot through the door."

Riley County police and the Riley County attorney will not discuss the circumstances surrounding the deadly shooting or a motive.

A mug shot of Wilson is not available. The RCPD does not release booking photos from their jail.


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