FRANKLIN, Ind. (Feb. 16, 2014) — They came from Morgantown, Trafalgar and all parts of Johnson County to honor a man who was a father to dozens and a hero to one who paid for the protection he offered with his life.
Ernie Jasper was remembered at a fundraiser at the Time Out bar and grill in Franklin on Sunday.
Jasper died earlier this month, along with a teenage girl, when Andy Parish, 21, entered a Franklin home late one night to argue with an ex-girlfriend.
A neighbor, Maria Davis’ little brother, sensed trouble and ran across the street to help.
“The kid said, ‘I’ll take the hard way,'” said Danny Scott, Jr., who accompanied Jasper to the home on Bridlewood Drive and watched as the older man tried to convince Parish to leave peacefully.
“That’s when I heard the first shot and my ears started ringing and I was real disoriented and dazed,” Scott said. “I took a couple steps sideways and that’s when the kid shot my other friend and he grabbed me by the shoulder and started pushing me down the stairs.”
Parish also fatally wounded Sara Davidson, 19, who tried to protect her friend Maria. They had been roommates for just three days.
Parish then slightly wounded two other people before fleeing to a nearby farm where he killed himself as police closed in.
Jasper was rushed to a hospital but died of his wounds.
“He died protecting the ones that he loved,” said Shelby Jasper, one of Ernie’s daughters. “He went out doing what he loved and that’s protecting.”
“He’s a hero,” said Dustin Jasper, one of Ernie’s sons. “My dad wasn’t scared of anything.
“We have no grudges against anybody.”
Jasper and his wife housed more than 50 foster children over the years.
“From day one, from the day I moved in, I felt like one of their kids,” said David Basso who spent six years in the Jasper household. “He more importantly taught me how to be a father.”
Jasper’s own family included a special needs daughter, Angela.
Franklin Police say Parish left behind a suicide note and made phone calls to his parents apologizing for what he had done.