Online relationship led to fatal July 3 shooting, according to friends

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - An online relationship led to a fatal shooting in Colorado Springs, according to friends of the victim.

Arrest documents say 56-year old Michael Mills shot and killed Paul Miller the night before Independence Day. It happened at a home on Springnite Drive, near Drennan and Academy.

Friends of Miller tell KKTV that his mother, who owns the home, met Mills on Facebook. They say Mills was living in Ohio at the time. One day, he just showed up at the doorstep and started staying there.

The arrest documents state Miller and Mills got into an argument over rent money, and Miller threatened to have his dog attack Mills. The two started pushing each other, and that's when Mills grabbed a handgun and shot Miller in the neck. Miller later died at the hospital.

Mills is charged with second-degree murder. He's being held at the El Paso County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Susanna Prensner is a clinical social worker who specializes in online relationships and predators. She says the best way to protect yourself is to never give out personal information to someone you haven't met in person.

“We have opened the door to all predators having access to us at all times," Prensner said. "So you never know who you’ll encounter. So giving out any personal information, letting people know where you got to school, who you talk to, anything that could be self-identification, your address your personal phone number, is a no.”

Prensner offers assistance for people struggling with online relationships. You can contact her by email at susanna@hhhministries.org.