By Patrick McCreless

staff writer

A Bremen man who allegedly discharged a firearm at an occupied vehicle in Heritage Park Thursday evening is behind bars.

Cullman police officers arrested Nicholas J. Cole, 25, Friday and charged him with discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle.

According to police reports, the victim, Phillip Rhodes of Florence, received minor cuts to his hand from window glass broken as a result of the shooting.

“This could have been a very deadly situation,” said Capt. Max Bartlett of the Cullman Police Department.

Reports indicate the alleged shooting occurred at approximately 8:59 p.m. in the parking lot of Heritage Park near the Woodland Medical Center. Officers determined at least five shots were fired at the vehicle from a 25-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

“The pistol has not been recovered,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett said that shortly after receiving calls about the shooting, the police department received calls that a man with injuries had been rushed to the medical center.

“Officers responded to the hospital where they found a man named Phillip Rhodes,” Bartlett said.

An initial investigation revealed the shooting was allegedly the result of a domestic dispute between Rhodes, his estranged wife and a juvenile. Upon further investigation, officers determined Cole was allegedly called to the scene to assist in the dispute.

Bartlett said witnesses at the scene identified Cole as the shooter. He added that Cole offered no resistance during his arrest.

Though police have a suspect in custody, Bartlett said the case is not closed.

“The case is ongoing and we expect to interview additional witnesses, and additional charges may be submitted to the district attorney,” Bartlett said.

Cole is incarcerated at the Cullman County Detention Center.

Discharging a firearm into an occupied vehicle is a Class B felony, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.



‰ Contact Patrick McCreless by e-mail at patrickm@cullmantimes.com or by telephone at 734-2131 ext. 270.

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