Merrillville man charged after shooting driver with assault-style rifle, records show

Carlos Hayes - Original Credit: provided by Lake County Sheriff

Carlos Hayes - Original Credit: provided by Lake County Sheriff (provided by Lake County Sheriff / HANDOUT)

A Merrillville man faces charges he shot a motorist with an assault style rifle in his apartment complex’s parking lot after cutting the victim off in traffic, charges say.

Carlos Hayes III, 19, was charged July 27 with four felonies including attempted murder, aggravated battery, battery by means of a deadly weapon, battery resulting in serious bodily injury.

Going to pick his girlfriend up from work, the victim said he was driving on Broadway in Merrillville when a blue Chevy Malibu swerved around him, causing him to slam on his brakes.

It pulled into a side street leading up to the Maple Leaf Apartments, in the 7100 block of Broadway. Fearing a van was speeding up behind and could hit him, the man also pulled into the same road, driving into the complex to turn around, documents state.

While turning around, he saw a man emerge from the Malibu with an AK-47, charges state.

“I ain’t on none of that,” he told the man, later identified as Hayes, who shot him from about 40 feet away, records state.

“You got me, bro,” he told Hayes, who said, “Move your head,” before firing a second time that missed, charges state.

Police were called to the complex around 1 p.m. The victim told police he had a hard time breathing and couldn’t say where he was shot. The bullet entered near his right armpit, exiting through his back, charges show. He didn’t know Hayes and had never seen him before, the victim told police.

The man was transported to Methodist Hospitals Southlake, before he was transferred to a Chicago trauma hospital.

A witness told police he heard shots, then looked out, seeing Hayes holding an AK-47-type weapon, later spotting him walking around the complex to pick up three shell casings, charges state.

Cops found a casing at the scene consistent with AK47-style rifle, documents show.

Another witness recognized the Malibu, saying Hayes was constantly “flexing,” or showing off, in the parking lot, holding out his “numerous firearms,” charges state.

After impounding the Malibu, police found documents with Hayes’ name, 22 grams of suspected marijuana in the center console and a semi-automatic magazine in the trunk, documents said.

A bullet fragment was later found in the victim’s Volkswagen Jetta.

The following morning, an unidentified man called Merrillville police, asking if they towed his car. He was out of town, but came home to find his car missing, charges say. When asked if he lived there, the man said “yes,” documents show.

The cellphone number was later traced to a phone listed under Hayes’ father, charges state.

Later that afternoon, Hayes’ mother called police to report the car stolen. She claimed he had been in Arkansas with friends, which was later contradicted by cellphone records and his Instagram account.

Hayes posted a $7,500 cash bond July 28. His initial hearing is scheduled Aug. 12 before Lake Superior Magistrate Kathleen Sullivan.

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