INDIANAPOLIS — Prosecutors filed formal murder charges against the man they say killed an 18-year-old in downtown Indianapolis.
29-year-old Tyler Newby is accused of the deadly shooting.
That case is one of at least two dozen criminal charges stemming from last week’s riot downtown.
Both state and federal prosecutors agreed they fully support people’s right to peacefully protest, but cases of violence and looting won’t be tolerated.
Near the intersection of Market and Penn, an altercation that lasted only seconds ended the life of 18-year-old Dorian Murrell Sunday morning.
“This was something that could have been a simple altercation, a push or shove and that’s the end of it, instead someone lost their life,” said Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears.
According to court records, 29-year-old Tyler Newby told police he was pushed to the ground and was afraid Murrell was going to start punching him, so he shot Murrell one time in the heart. Newby allegedly admitted, “It all happened so fast, it was just reaction.”
Prosecutors describe that reaction as murder under the law.
“In Indiana it’s a reasonable person standard. Would a reasonable person in that position be afraid of death or serious bodily injury?” said Mears.
In addition to the murder case, Mears says 14 people were charged with burglary and looting for breaking into downtown businesses. Several more are facing gun and battery related charges.
“The only charges we didn’t file were non-violent protestors. If people want to come downtown and express themselves, as long it doesn’t hurt someone or damage someone’s property, we’re going to protect their right to protest,” said Mears.
This week federal prosecutors also filed charges against 23-year-old Antonio Wooden. Police claim video shows Wooden wearing a distinctive mask and firing a shot towards officers downtown.
United States attorney Josh Minkler insists that violence threatened the lives of police and protestors alike and will be punished.
“If you have some problem with your government, you should peacefully be able to assemble. That was not his goal. His goal was to terrorize people,” said Minkler.
“We cannot resort to violence. We can’t hurt each other or damage property. If you do, we will prosecute you,” said Mears.
Both Newby and Wooden are being held without bond. Many of the other suspects have been released pending trial.