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Father of murder victim to stand trial for actions after shooting

The father of a 16-year-old boy shot to death at a May 22, 2011 birthday barbecue in Auburn is scheduled to stand trial June 17, 2013 at the Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent charges of first-degree assault and unlawful possession of a firearm.

Prosecutors allege that after James Mills shot Gabriel Wilson's son, Adrian Wilson, 16, Mr. Wilson, then 46, fired at Mills and another young man he held responsible for killing him.

Mills, 17 at the time of the shooting, pleaded guilty in 2012 to second-degree murder. A judge sentenced him to 20 years in prison.

Auburn Police Detective Michelle Vojir's account, the basis for the charge against Gabriel Wilson, is as follows.

Adrian Wilson and his family had been attending a barbecue that afternoon in the common area of the Aspen Meadows Apartments at 402 21st St. S.

Shortly before the shooting, Corey Branham, a resident of the apartment complex, showed up at the barbecue with his friend, Mills, and Mills' girlfriend. Branham and Gabriel Wilson senior had a conversation about some issues between them, but their talk ended without incident.

Minutes later, Adrian Wilson confronted Mills about the gun Mills was carrying. He was walking toward Mills when Mills pulled out the weapon and fired, hitting Wilson once in the head, killing him.

Bullets also hit Steven Chehey and Roberto Carro-Aguilar, who survived.

Branham told police that at that point, he ran into his apartment with his mother and Mills' girlfriend, ordering both of them to get down because somebody was shooting. He told police that when he looked out of the window a short time later, he saw people around the fallen Wilson, and Wilson's father rounding the corner heading for his apartment, gun in hand.

Branham said he heard multiple shots being fired into the apartment, one narrowly missing his mother. As the shots were being fired, Branham said, he heard Wilson yelling, "I am going to ... kill you guys!"

According to the police account, officers were approaching Gabriel Wilson when he rushed foward. An officer tried to stop him, but he slammed the officer to the ground before he was subdued and arrested.

Gabriel Wilson later told police that he had tried to follow Mills and Branham with a gun that he had picked up from the ground where one of the wounded young men lay. Unable to find Mills and Branham, he said, he returned to the apartment complex and fired his gun into the apartment until he emptied the clip, 13 rounds in all, according to the police account.

When detectives later asked Wilson if had been trying to hit somebody in the apartment, his reply allegedly was: "They killed my ... son. What do you expect?"

Wilson, a documented member of the Nortenos, a criminal street gang based in Northern California, has a prior felony conviction for heroin possession, 4th-degree assault, resisting arrest and 3rd-degree theft and, as a convicted felon, was not allowed to possess a firearm.

Branham later told police that his aunt and Gabriel Wilson, who had been dating, had split up two weeks earlier. He also told police that Gabriel Wilson had been sending threatening messages to his aunt and she was taking out a restraining order against Wilson. Branham also told police that Wilson had been angry at his — Branham's — own mother, because he believed she was trying to keep him and his former girlfriend apart.

Contact Auburn Reporter News reporter Robert Whale at rwhale@auburn-reporter.com or 253-833-0218, ext. 5052.

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