Elkhart man charged with murder in connection with 2012 Gemini’s Bar shooting

A man has been charged with murder in connection with a 2012 shooting at a local bar.
Posted on Jan. 3, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 3, 2014 at 6:20 p.m.

ELKHART — Police are looking for a man in connection with a shooting outside a bar in 2012.

According to court documents, Cortez Wheeler, 24, Elkhart, has been charged with murder and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. A warrant for his arrest was filed through Elkhart’s Circuit Court on Dec. 6, 2013.

Wheeler is suspected of shooting and killing Cordero Williams-El, 25, outside Gemini’s Bar and Grill, 23845 U.S. 33. Nov. 23.

During their investigation, police found both men had pointed a gun at each other just before the shooting.

Police and EMS units were called to the bar at about 3 a.m. to reports of a shooting. They found Williams-El’s body near the bar’s entryway. He appeared to have at least one bullet wound.

A pathologist determined Williams-El died as a result of a gunshot wound to the chest.

Two women were injured during the shooting. One woman was shot in her middle finger on her right hand while she ran for cover. Another woman was shot between her index and middle fingers. Both women were outside the bar when the shooting happened.

A sheriff’s department crime scene specialist found nine spent handgun bullet shell casings in the parking lot, in addition to marks in the exterior part of the bar. Police spoke with Nevonska Munn, a man who said he was with Williams-El just before the shooting. He said he was walking behind Williams-El as they exited the bar when a group of men approached them. One of them flashed a gun at Munn, and Munn went back into the bar.

Munn told police he heard four or five shots and when he went out he found Williams-El unresponsive.

According to the affidavit, investigators looked at surveillance video, which showed Wheeler arriving in a car and approaching Williams-El as he and Munn exited the bar. The video shows Munn turning and walking back inside, while Williams-El starts heading back to the bar as well. Wheeler was shown in the video shooting the gun as Williams-El pointed a gun at him and ran toward the bar.

Wheeler was previously convicted of burglary, considered a felony of violent nature, which is why he was recently charged with possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon.

If convicted of both charges, Wheeler could face up to 80 years in prison.

Anyone with information on Wheeler’s whereabouts should call the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department at 574-891-2100.

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