‘Forgiveness is the answer,’ man writes letter following tragic shooting of son, daughter in law

Crimetracker

INDIANAPOLIS — Someone shot a husband and wife this week on North High School Road on the city’s west side as the man said he was pulled over and working to fix lights on his trailer. Wilma Hochstetler died as police responded to the scene around 1:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Jonathan Hochstetler owns his own roofing business and he was finishing up work in Indianapolis preparing to head home to Greene County when a tire blew and caused some damage to the lighting on his trailer. He called his wife in Greene County to bring him a spare. She loaded up their 6-year-old son Bradon and headed for Indy.

As Jonathan worked, Wilma noticed two people lurking nearby and alerted Jonathan, according to his father Samuel Hochstetler.

“He opened up the passenger door of the truck and put his gun in there,” Samuel said about the shooter. “Jonathan said, “Whoa, what’s going on?” Then he came around the front and the other guy came around the back and they pulled out their guns on them and robbed them.”

But, that is not where the tragic night ended.

“Then they turned around and started walking away,” Samuel said. “All of a sudden, they just turned and shot. His wife just crumbled immediately. He knew right away she was dead.”

Their son watched everything from the backseat of the truck, including his dad get hit in the neck with a bullet.

“He’s telling us more and more of the story you know,” Samuel said.

Samuel visited Jonathan in the hospital tonight. He said he has had two surgeries and has a feeding tube. Jonathan is also sharing details of what he remembers from that night. But, his dad said Jonathan does not hold bitterness toward the people who killed his wife and injured him.

“He said I have total peace, I’m comfortable, I’m encouraged,” Samuel said. “He said I have no anger towards those men.”

Samuel wrote a letter to the City of Indianapolis and shared it on camera. In part it reads:

Jesus says in Matthew 7, love your enemies, bless those that curse you, do good to them that hate you, pray for them that despitefully use you and persecute you. There’s another scripture in Romans that says God says vengeance is mine, I will repay. So vengeance belongs to God not to us.

There’s another verse that says be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good. So we cannot allow this evil to overcome us, make us bitter and angry.

Samuel said in the letter he feels no hatred, bitterness or revenge toward the people who did this.

My son has thanked his heavenly Father over and over that he’s not paralyzed. I extend forgiveness towards the two murderers. Revenge only begets more violence. My heart’s desire for them is that they would repent and fall on their faces before the Lord Jesus and cry out for mercy for their own soul’s sake. Jesus would desire to give them a new heart and a new spirit.

Wilma leaves behind four children, Melissa, 16, Abigail, 14, Kendra, 10, and Bradon, 6.

IMPD said they are still looking for the people who committed this crime. If you know anything that could help them make an arrest in this case, call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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