INDIANAPOLIS — Police believe a triple shooting that left one person dead across from an Indianapolis church began as an argument among a landscaping crew.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the shooting occurred around 1:30 p.m. in a parking lot across from Broadway United Methodist Church located near E. 29th Street and Fall Creek Parkway N. Drive.
“There was some type of an altercation about a job, over a person’s employment, in the parking lot. This just happened to be the meeting spot for this,” said IMPD Sergeant Genae Cook.
According to IMPD, detectives believe three men were engaged in an employment disagreement that became physical and erupted into gunfire. All three men were believed to be armed.
“We do know that at least three people did shoot,” said Cook.
All three of those men were shot, police confirmed, including one person who later died at the hospital from his injuries. The second person was transported to the hospital in serious but stable condition and the third suffered a minor graze wound and was treated at the scene by medics.
The Marion County Coroner’s Office identified the man who died as 61-year-old Walter F. Goodloe.
Authorities were working Thursday afternoon to determine who the aggressor was in the shooting and said detectives were speaking with witnesses and those involved, either at the scene or the hospital.
Police said Broadway United Methodist Church wasn’t involved in the shooting but did state that one of the injured men reportedly ran up to the church after being shot and individuals inside the church helped render aid to the injured man.
“Again, they weren’t involved, they just happen to be right here in the area,” said Cook. “It was a place for safety for this person.”
Neighbors who spoke with FOX59 said they are thankful for all the church does in the community, calling it a ‘pillar,’ and said they empathize with what those inside also witnessed Thursday afternoon.
“The folks at the church are victims just the same having been — having to witness and respond to something like this,” said a neighbor who didn’t want to be identified. “Just the thought now that the entryway to the church for the folks who work there and some folks in the neighborhood has new meaning, it’s just incredibly sad.”
While she hopes the good will outweigh the bad, one neighbor shared she’s concerned that this could have ended even worse, especially if the shooting happened during a time in the day when more people were outside.
“Just a thought that in the middle of the afternoon I might’ve been walking my dog, I might’ve had the kids home today, and that an action like this could take place and be directly impacted by losing a life or being injured, is terrifying,” said the neighbor.
“Here we are in the middle of a bunch of houses, families. The fortunate part is that school is in session, so hopefully most children were at school,” said Cook. “They’re going to be coming home soon so we hope everyone’s able to explain to their children what’s going on and how important it is that if they saw something that they need to tell the police.”
Neighbors shared this type of incident is uncharacteristic for the area, calling it “disheartening.” One woman said there’s a lot of good happening and people working together to do things that make it an even better place to live, and they won’t let this disrupt that.
“They’re folks who work hard and have families and want to take walks and play in the park,” said the neighbor. “This neighborhood is working together, these immediate blocks to renovate that park, we are working with the church and Indy Parks and other partners like the CDC, to create the kinds of positive changes that we want in this area.”
Thursday’s shooting happened in the parking lot between the church and a park that neighbors are working to improve.
“We’re going to rally as a neighborhood,” said the woman, “but our city needs to help us.”
IMPD said, this shooting serves as a reminder of the importance of conflict resolution and walking away from a situation before it escalates to something serious, even deadly.
“Just because you can carry a weapon, doesn’t mean you should use it. You still have responsibilities and, in fact, you have greater responsibilities as a person who carries a weapon,” said Cook. “That’s why it’s more important also, is that if you are carrying weapon, that you walk away.”
“It’s frustrating because there are solutions to these sorts of actions, to try and prevent these sorts of things,” said the neighbor who spoke with FOX59. “I think nationwide we’re seeing folks have access to tools, guns, that hurt people. We know that maturity levels aren’t what they should be among all of us and in the heat of the moment you can make a decision because you have this tool, this gun, and it is called a tool for many folks, but it is a weapon of death. That’s what it supposed to do.”
IMPD said detectives have identified all people involved in the incident and do not believe there is any threat to the public.
Anyone with information about the shooting can remain anonymous and contain Crime Stoppers at (317) 262-TIPS. Those who contact Crime Stoppers with information may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to a felony arrest.
You can also contact Detective Dustin Keedy at the IMPD Homicide Office by calling (317) 327-3475 or via email at Dustin.Keedy@indy.gov.