Trial Date Set For Suspected Manhattan Killer

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- A Manhattan man accused of shooting and killing a Fort Riley soldier and wounding several others stood mute during a court appearance Monday.

Matthew Wilson, 43, was arraigned in Riley County District Court and did not respond when asked what his plea was to charges of first degree murder, four counts of attempted murder and aggravated burglary stemming from a deadly weekend shooting in April at the University Gardens Apartments on Garden Way in Manhattan, located off of Anderson Avenue. The court entered pleas of not guilty to all of his charges in the wake of his silence.

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.

Officers responded to the University Gardens Apartments off of Anderson Avenue 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 Wilson was taken into custody.

Sgt. Michael T. Lowery, a 22-year-old U.S. Army Soldier, a combat engineer with the 4th Brigade Special Troops Battalion Alpha Company at Fort Riley, was found dead at the scene.

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

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

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

Officials have not provided updates on their recovery.

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.

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 were in the same unit.

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 authorities will not discuss the circumstances surrounding the deadly shooting or a possible motive.

Wilson's trial is set for November 18-22, 2013 at the Riley County Courthouse. He remains in custody.


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