Police: Indy homeowner shoots, kills intruder on northeast side

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A Castleton-area homeowner shot and killed an intruder who tried to break into his home early Tuesday morning.

It happened about 2:15 a.m. in the 7600 block of Wickfield Dr., near 75th St. and Hague Rd., according to Indianapolis Metropolitan police.

Three people, including a child, were in the home at the time of the fatal shooting, according to investigators. The Marion County Coroner's Office identified the deceased as 18-year-old Derrick Johnson Jr.

Derrick Johnson Jr. (Photo courtesy of father Derrick Johnson Sr.)

Police said Johnson entered the home through a side window.

“If you break into someone’s home, there are consequences for that,” said neighbor Jennifer Allen.

Jennifer lives right next door to the scene of the shooting.  She believes her neighbor had every right to kill the teenage intruder.

“He invited that and brought that on himself.  I know he probably has family, but I don’t have a problem with the fact that he was shot and killed,” said Allen.

“In this particular instance, it appears the homeowner acted in complete justification in using deadly force,” said attorney Jack Crawford.

Attorney Crawford says even though Johnson did not have a weapon during the break-in, Indiana law protects the homeowners right to defend his wife and 3-year-old child who were home at the time.

“Indiana adheres to the policy that a person’s home is their castle and you cannot unlawfully enter the home at the risk of being killed,” said Crawford.

“As far as I can tell [the intruder] did not have a weapon on him,” IMPD Major Richard Riddle said. “But I want to make this very clear, the individual forced entry into this home and our homeowner confronted him with his own gun.”

Riddle continued, “You have a right to protect yourself and your family inside of your home at all times as long as that force is reasonable and you are protecting your life, the life of a third party which in this sense is our homeowner’s family.”

Police were on scene within a minute of the shooting.  They were already in the area investigating a home burglary and another car break-in just blocks away.

Police won't say if Johnson is connected to those crimes, but according to police reports, in April the 18-year-old suspect was arrested for possessing drugs and a stolen gun.

In May police arrested the teen following a hit and run during which Johnson admitted smoking marijuana.

Just last week Johnson was arrested a third time on theft and drug related charges.

Although criminal charges against the homeowner are not likely, that decision will be in the hands of the Marion county prosecutor’s office.