NILES, Ohio (WYTV) – A friend of the man accused of shooting into a Niles apartment building and hurting an innocent man inside is coming to his defense, saying the man he knows is an overly caring guy.
As his case is bound over to the Trumbull County Grand Jury, Nicklas Trkula, of Middlefield, remains jailed on charges of attempted murder and felonious assault.
“It surprised the heck out of me,” Trkula’s friend said, who asked us not to use his name.
The friend said what Trkula is accused of doing isn’t characteristic of the man he knows.
“He would have never shot somebody on purpose. If it wasn’t during a heat of the moment thing with the woman he loves so much, this never would have been an issue,” the friend said.
Trkula is accused of firing a weapon into an apartment building on Sunday. Police say a bullet went through a wall, hitting an innocent man in the leg. He’s still recovering tonight.
Investigators believe the shooting stemmed from a love triangle that centered around Trkula’s live-in girlfriend and mother of his child, and her relationship with a man who lived there.
Trkula’s friend said the affair had been going on for a while.
“His world fell at his feet. Nick was such a family-focused person and I guarantee he feels so bad for hitting that person. With knowing Nick, he was a very kind and gentle person,” the friend said.
However, prosecutors didn’t see him that way, asking he be held without bond at his arraignment on Monday based on both the seriousness of the alleged crime and Trkula’s demeanor during a police interview.
“I’d almost say like laughing a little bit and joking. Just a strange response to that type of interview,” said Niles Police Capt. John Marshall.
“Nick was doing so good for himself and it just had to be a toxic relationship he was in,” the friend said.