GREENWOOD, Ind. — One person is dead, and two other people wounded, following a shootout and attempted home invasion in Johnson County early Tuesday morning.
At approximately 12:30 a.m., Greenwood police responded to a residence in the 300 block of Bridle Court to investigate a report of shots fired. They discovered three people had been shot, one of them fatally.
The deceased victim is a male suspect who was attempting what police believe was a drug-related robbery at the home.
The two residents in the home, 21-year-old Ryan Endress and 21-year-old Kaylee Whitaker, were transported to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis with what were believed to be non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to the arms and legs. They were expected to be released from the hospital Tuesday.
While the shooting itself is expected to be considered self defense, Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper expects to charge Endress and Whitaker in the coming days.
“They will most likely be charged with some form of dealing with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver,” Cooper said.
Medics pronounced the suspect dead at the scene. His identity has not yet been released. Police said he was dressed in black and had his face covered with a bandana. He wore rubber gloves and had a handgun. The man didn’t have any identification on him, police said.
“The homeowner was able to able to obtain a gun, return fire. There were numerous shots fired, which is what was indicated from inside the residence,” said Matthew Fillenwarth with the Greenwood Police Department. “The suspect was fatally struck. The female and the male homeowner were both struck.”
The surviving victims told police that the suspect came to the residence with the intent to rob them of drugs. Fillenwarth said officers found a large amount of drugs, mostly marijuana, in the house.
“You could smell the raw marijuana from outside the house with the front door open,” Fillenwarth said.
Authorities say they also found at least one gun in each room of the house.
Endress told police the man knocked on the door and a struggle ensued. He and the suspect fired multiple shots.
The suspect then left the home for a waiting vehicle, according to police, but collapsed and died in the street before he could reach it. Police found a large amount of marijuana at the home and believe the suspect planned to steal it.
The shooting left residents in the otherwise quiet neighborhood on edge.
“This shouldn’t happen anywhere, downtown or out here,” said Susie Alendorf. “It just shouldn’t be happening and it’s a shame that it has. So it takes away some of your security.”
Cooper said the case shows that marijuana is becoming a bigger and more dangerous business in central Indiana.
“Three or four of the last homicides that have taken place in Greenwood have been over marijuana drug deals,” Cooper said. “A lot of people are pooling large amounts of cash together and sending somebody out to Colorado or elsewhere where it would be legal. And they’re collecting as much marijuana as they can get and driving it back.”
“I’ve seen people in my career that were literally tortured until they gave up their drugs,” Fillenwarth said.
“Just by the fact that the marijuana dealers and the marijuana robbers are carrying firearms shows that they know it’s an inherently dangerous business,” Cooper said.
Greenwood investigators were working with the IMPD Gang unit to possibly match tattoos on the deceased suspect in an effort to match him with known suspects. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday morning.
Police were also hoping to track down whoever was in a possible getaway car that left the area when the shoots rang out.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Greenwood police at 317-882-9191.