Family, neighbors recall shooting victim

John Yingling’s day started just like any other as he pulled out of the driveway on the south side, talking to his wife on the phone as they did almost every day.

But his wife heard something out of the ordinary during that conversation—someone else in the background.

“The next she heard was, ‘Give me your money and your wallet.’ And they ended up just shooting him in the head,” said Brian Hatfield, Yingling’s brother-in-law.

Yingling, a 38-year-old father of two, died after being shot in his driveway by someone he’d never met.

“He’s a great guy, he’s helped me and my wife out over the years,” Hatfield said. “I’ve known him for 15 years. He’s a really nice guy.”

The shooting that killed Yingling may have been connected to a series of crimes around the city Wednesday, according to investigators. That spree included a bank robbery on the north side and the shooting of a man on the west side as he was walking his dog.

Police arrested two juveniles ages 15 and 17 in connection with the spree, which ended in a crash near Brownsburg that included four vehicles.

But for those who know Yingling, their focus is on the man who died without any explanation in a community where neighbors said such things rarely happen.

‪”I’ve lived here 26 to 27 years and we’ve never had anything like this on this street,” said Carla Windisch, a neighbor.

The shooting that killed Yingling prompted Southport Elementary School to recall buses and go on lockdown as a precautionary measure.

“It’s a bit unusual down here. No question about that. But we’ll find out where the leads take us and find out what really happened,” said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

Detectives looking into Yingling’s murder were also investigating a series of robberies on the south side.

“I believe there (were) three robberies before this incident. And another one afterwards,” said Gregory Bieberich, IMPD deputy chief.

The SUV seen after the shooting that killed Yingling was apparently stolen from the southeast side early Wednesday morning. Witnesses saw a similar vehicle near the scene of a robbery at a Chase Bank location on the north side later in the morning. That same vehicle was also spotted after a shooting on the west side that led to the chase and crash near Brownsburg.

8 comments

  • Rick

    Two punks who will have their court appointed attorney plea bargain their case since they are SO young, and let these animals out of prison in a few years to wreak havoc again. Too bad that one of the victims was not armed and ready to take these punks out. Condolences to the Yingling family for their loss. I will bet that these punks already have an arms length rap sheet.

  • jjj

    Just because you carry a gun does not guarantee you would live through a confrontation like this.

    I'm thinking the police are pretty much doing a worthless job.

    • ReSS

      "Just because you carry a gun does not guarantee you would live through a confrontation like this"

      Sure does increase your odds though. I'll stick to carrying 24/7.

  • cindy

    Don't blame police for a chase that ends tragic, blame the parents for the kids not being in school. If it was your love one and they had been shot and killed or shot walking their dog you would want the thugs caught too…no matter what. These thugs need to be tried as adults and not put into juvy until they turn 21 and then be let out to repeat their crimes.

  • Mettaintheworld

    They will be tried as ADULTS, correct? Also, can't these be considered 'hate crimes' to get more time added on for these two losers? Two black people targeted white people…if it was the other way around I'm certain some group would claim "hate crime!" If these two guys went around and shot at Asians or Mexicans…THAT would be a hate crime, correct? I just want these two to recieve the MAXIMUM for what they've done. They are NOT going to be productive citizens who contribute to our society..so I'd like for them to be put away for the rest of their lives. At 15, at 17…you KNOW right from wrong.

    • Level2talk

      100% AGREE! They targeted white people, middle class white people going to WORK, just trying to live their lives and these punks come in and wreak havoc with NO REGARD for anyone. Don't lock them up as adults. EXECUTE. They don't deserve to live, they will never change, never be anything more than punks. I blame the parents too, it's quite obvious they had ZERO home training and we all know that it all starts at home. Get rid of them, we don't need NOR want them in our society.

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