INDIANAPOLIS — Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears is recusing himself from the deadly shooting of a teenager this week outside an Indianapolis mall.

Citing a conflict of interest, Mears filed a motion to appoint a special prosecutor to the case on Thursday. The case he is recusing himself from involves a shooting that occurred Tuesday night in the parking lot of Castleton Square Mall in which a 16-year-old was killed.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police were called around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday to 6020 E. 82nd Street, the address for the mall, for a person shot. Upon arrival, they found a teenage boy in critical condition and a man in stable condition.

Both victims, IMPD said, were taken to a local hospital for treatment. The juvenile male victim, later identified as 16-year-old Michael Mason Jr., died from his injuries later that night. The adult victim is still in the hospital.

Friends and family of victim Mason Jr. have spoken about the violence in the wake of his death, with some even urging Prosecutor Mears to file charges against the shooter.

Now, it appears that Mears will have no say on the matter.

“The investigation and the charging decision of the individual under investigation creates a conflict of interest. In order to avoid an appearance of impropriety, it is thus necessary to appoint a Special Prosecutor to assist in the investigation, to make a charging decision and to prosecute such charges if filed, as contemplated by the special prosecutor statute.”

Motion filed by Prosecutor Ryan Mears

Although the motion filed did not directly specify what the exact conflict of interest was, it did provide details on the request for a special prosecutor.

“In order to be appointed as a special prosecutor, the person must be the prosecuting
attorney or a deputy prosecuting attorney in a county other than the county in which the
person is to serve as a special prosecutor or a senior prosecuting attorney,” the motion reads.

IMPD officers are still investigating what led to the deadly shooting, which was initially described by police at the scene as an altercation between three people.

However, the father of the victim who survived recently said it started with a mistake over two identical cars. The father’s account of the events is detailed here.