INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- In the spring of 2016, after the preceding summer and fall claimed at least five lives in the South Butler/Tarkington community, the warning former-Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Chief Rick Hite had for the gangs warring over the north side neighborhood still rang loud.
“If you’re in the game, get out before we get you or the streets do.”
Cooperation between neighbors and the police brought peace to South B/T but it took FBI wiretaps to boost an IMPD investigation that led to the round up of more than a dozen members of the "Gett Money Gang" (GMG) on marijuana, gang and corrupt business charges.
David Gibbs and Ryan Pedtke were part of that crew and both pleaded guilty to marijuana counts, resulting in three-year prison sentences.
Gibbs violated his probation and should have been on home detention early Tuesday morning when he was shot to death, Pedtke was wound and another friend, Bill Landrum, was injured, too, in a brazen shooting from another car in the eastbound lanes of West 86th Street at Ditch Road.
The trio made it to St. Vincent’s Hospital in their bullet riddled car before Gibbs died.
“We have multiple shell casings in the roadway where shots were fired. We also have bullet holes in some of these businesses behind you,” IMPD Capt. Robert Trout told reporters at the crime scene across the street from a Speedway convenience store where detectives seized a surveillance video tape. “They’re hoping that the video will give them some surveillance footage that will reveal the description on the other vehicle and maybe what happened.”
Witnesses spotted a dark-colored car heading southbound on Ditch Road after the shooting.
“It seemed like it was planned,” said Trout. “No other vehicles were shot at, we have no other victims, so it was a specific target.”
In the late summer of 2015, GMG went to war with another gang, "KG," after a brawl at the Indiana State Fairgrounds led to several shootings, one of which claimed the life of a 10-year-old boy.
Gibbs was arrested for that fight.
Pedtke and his twin brother were alleged to be the financiers of the gang’s activities and drug deals after promising that a rap video they were producing was on the verge of breaking big in Los Angeles.
GMG was known for its presence at the Creekside Apartments just a few miles west of the site of Tuesday morning’s shooting.
Though IMPD linked seized weapons to the shootings, detectives could never put those guns in the hands of specific gang members so the killings remained unsolved.
All three of the overnight shooting victims had previous gun convictions.