By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Local police have arrested a second suspect in a May 29 shooting that left a 31-year-old Atmore man dead, and both individuals implicated in the death are now free on bond.
Atmore Police Department Sgt. Darrell McMann reported in a press release that Wiley Black Tait Jr., 42, of Atmore was taken into custody October 4 in connection to the death of Robert Mario Starks.
According to Escambia County Detention Center records, Tait was freed on $100,000 bond two days after his arrest. He is charged with one count each of murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and discharging a firearm within the city limits.
Police said several vehicles were hit during the exchange of gunfire, which took place around 2:15 a.m. near the intersection of Carver Avenue and King Street. A bullet reportedly struck Starks, who was not involved in the argument that led to the shooting.
According to published reports, authorities believe Mitchell fired the shot — from a multiple-caliber AR-15 rifle — that hit Starks in the back as he stood by one of the intended victims. The bullet reportedly traveled through Starks’s body and entered a 2012 Ford Fusion, destroying the rear back window and lodging in the vehicle’s frame.
Another person whose name has not been released was also hit by at least one bullet and seriously wounded. That person has reportedly been released from the area trauma center to which he or she was taken after receiving preliminary treatment at Atmore Community Hospital.
Mitchell was arrested June 29 and freed from the county jail July 7 when bond of $250,000 was posted on his behalf. Like Tait, he is charged with one count each of murder, shooting into an occupied vehicle, and discharging a firearm within the city limits.