INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A murder suspect is in custody after police say he was involved in a police chase Thursday morning.
Officers caught the suspect--identified as 26-year-old Derrick Warner--around 9:35 a.m. Warner was wanted in a murder case.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD), this all started when officers tried to make a traffic stop around 7 a.m. The driver took off, leading officers on a brief pursuit.
The car stopped at the intersection of Prospect and Randolph in the Fountain Square area. During the chase, Warner got out and ran off. SWAT and K9 officers were called to help with the search; the heavy police presence prompted two nearby schools to go on lockdown as a precaution.
Investigators believe Warner shot and killed Richard Pettry Junior on Jan. 12.
"It was such a shock. God, he was invincible," said the victim's cousin, Dena Pettry.
Dena says the 42-year-old murder victim worked as a contractor and loved his family
"We’re a very close family so we’re very deeply saddened by this loss. I mean Richard was everybody’s best friend," said Dena.
The dispute between Pettry and Warner appears to have started in December when Pettry was called to help a family member who has a drug problem and claimed she was trapped inside a house.
When Pettry went to help that family member, he was allegedly confronted by a man with a gun.
According to court records, several witnesses identified Warner as the shooter during the murder a couple of weeks later.
An arrest warrant was issued for Warner earlier this week.
"Obviously no one wants a homicide in our city, but if a homicide occurs, it’s important the community step up and help us when they know where individuals are located at," said IMPD officer Aaron Hamer.
After searching the neighborhood, officers found Warner hiding inside a home.
Investigators later recovered a gun from the gutter of that home and credited neighbors for calling 911 and helping them find Warner so quickly.
"There was one woman that was walking her dog and realized her gate was open and it wasn’t open when she left the house. The community was very helpful in this situation," said Hamer.
While it won’t bring their loved one back, the arrest did come as a huge comfort to Pettry’s family.
"We’re all really heartbroken, but we’re happy the man was caught. I mean that’s a relief. It really is," said Dena. "We need that closure at least and we hope to see him prosecuted to the full extent of the law."
Luckily, no one was injured in any way during the search.