INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 30, 2014) — In an act friends and neighbors are calling senseless, police say shoplifters shot and killed a man at a northeast side store Sunday.
The shooting happened at 2:30 in the afternoon at the Body Gear store at 38th and Rural. Police confirm that a group of four to six people tried to steal clothes from the store and began shooting after employees tried to stop them.
The suspects shot Ho Lee, 36, who police say was a friend of the owner in town to help out with the store. People from nearby stores in the same strip mall rushed to help.
“I saw him lying there and I just started ripping open t-shirts, just to stop the bleeding. He was bleeding from the side of his head,” one nearby store owner said.
Lee was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in critical condition. He later died in surgery.
Police said that there were about a dozen customers in the store at the time of the shooting. The shots hit 19-year-old Diamond Slaughter in the leg. Her aunt, Karen Lee, said Slaughter was just at the store doing some shopping.
“She was upset, but she’s seen her brother and her brother just told her, ‘Calm down, you just got shot in the leg, you’re going to be okay,'” Lee said.
Police caught two suspects shortly after the shooting and later announced the arrests of 18-year-old Deaundre Graves and a 17-year-old juvenile. Both were preliminarily charged with murder and robbery. The juvenile’s name is not being released as he will initially be processed at the juvenile detention center on unrelated matters before being arrested as an adult.
Police were still looking for two, possibly four, suspects who fled the scene. Community members and frequent shoppers stopped by the store throughout the day, saying the owners are well known for their generosity.
“They would help you. (They) have layaway in there, there’s no reason to go in there and steal. They have the prices so reasonable,” frequent customer Michele Austin said.
“If they didn’t have enough money, all they have to do is say, ‘Hey, man this is all I got, help me’ and he would,” another frequent customer said.
Instead, a family is now grieving alongside the community. Many at the scene said they hoped this is not a sign of more violence to come this spring and summer.
“To wake up on the Sabbath day, today, God’s day and do this, they didn’t have anything good in their hearts,” Austin said.
This is an ongoing investigation, and detectives continue to urge anyone with information about this incident to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477).
Tipsters may also text “INDYCS” plus tip information to 274627 (CRIMES).