Marine 1 of 3 arrested after exchanging gunfire with man trying to barge into home

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Joey Nelson

A Detroit-area Marine was shot during an alleged home invasion - but he's the one locked up and facing charges.    

Someone banged on the door, trying to force themselves into the home on Ackley Street in Westland. The family of Joey Nelson says that's what caused the active Marine to react.

"My son was where he was supposed to be - inside his home with his legally owned firearm," Steve Nelson says.

Friday night, Nelson's family says Joey Nelson had been inside with his fiancée, their 3-week-old son and a couple of friends when someone violently started to knock on the door trying to get in.

Westland police say the man outside was 39-year-old Michael Wilson of Detroit.

"I don't know (who he is); my son doesn't know him; the owner of the home doesn't know him," says Steve.

Cracking the door frame, the family says Joey grabbed his gun and yelled for Wilson to leave.

"He opened up the door because he was standing here in the yard," Steve says. "(Joey) told him to get off his property and at that time (Wilson) produced a gun and started shooting at my son."

Joey's family says the young Marine was shot in the hip before calling 911 and telling everyone to get downstairs. Joey fired back at Wilson, who they say took off as police arrived.

FOX 2 noticed the large amount of bullet holes at the home. 

"Yes ma'am, there are quite a few. This gentleman was not here for coffee," Steve responded. 

Westland police say that a fight over a mutual female friend inside the home led to the shooting. Joey is now charged with several felonies, including assault with intent to murder.

Although Joey is charged with several felonies, Wilson is only charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

"This man out here in the front yard fired multiple shots into a house with multiple people inside and a 3-week-old baby. Simple. And he's (only) charged with concealing a weapon illegally?" Steve asks.

Also charged was 24-year-old Kori Willhite of Garden City for disguising her identification to a police officer and possession of improper prescription drugs. 

Now, as Joey sits in jail on a $150,000 cash bond, his family says they don't understand why he's being charged at all.

"He should be hailed a hero for defending his family," Steve says.