INDIANAPOLIS — 21-year-old Dionni King was arrested Thursday for his alleged involvement in the murder of 24-year-old Stacey Branch Jr.
On Friday September 2, just before 10 p.m., IMPD was dispatched to the 5900 block of Fieldcrest Lane on report of a person shot.
When officers arrived, they located an adult male, later identified as Branch Jr., with injuries consistent of a gunshot wound(s) to the chest. EMS transported Branch Jr. to Eskenazi hospital in critical condition where he later died.
According to a probable cause affidavit, Detective Christian-Moss interviewed the homeowner at Fieldcrest, later identified as MC. MC said she and “D” (Dionni), had been driving in her car and Branch Jr., her children’s father, had been calling her. She answered the phone and Branch heard people in the background and got upset and asked if he needed to head over there because “it was going to be a problem”.
MC hung up on Branch and continued to be with D and his girlfriend, BM. Branch attempted to Facetime MC but she ignored him. Later on, MC answered when Branch called again and this time Branch said, “If I have to pull up, it is going to be a problem.” She asked him not to come.
The affidavit shows that Branch did then go over to the residence and was beating on the front door. BM’s 4-year-old daughter opened the door for Branch and he entered. He saw MC at the top of the stairs and shoved her out of the way.
The affidavit states that Branch and “D” started to grab each other and attempted to throw punches. MC tried separating both of them, but they were holding each other’s shirts.
Then, a gun went off.
MC carried Branch down the stairs and took him outside to his uncle. Det. Christian-Moss asked where the gun came from and MC stated it was hers and that King(“D”) left with it in hand.
Detectives were able to obtain Ring doorbell camera footage from the incident which helped identify Dionni. The footage showed King holding what appears to be a firearm with an extended magazine in his right hand.
A check of King’s prior criminal history showed that he is prohibited from possessing a firearm due to a conviction of auto theft within the last 15 years.
James Wilson with Circle Up Indy said this is another example of a confrontation turning into gun violence.
“We don’t think about the long run, we think about the immediate,” Wilson said. “Long run what are the consequences all the way around the board for everybody.”
According to court docs, two children were at the home when the disturbance started and then outside when the shot was fired.
“What our kids are seeing is war in their own neighborhoods, war in their own homes,” Crystal Hines said. Hines and her husband, Kareem Hines, both run programs for youth. Crystal runs the Inner Beauty Program for young women ages 6 through 18. Kareem runs the New Boy Mentoring Program for young men.
The Hines notice a lack of conflict resolution skills from a young age.
“There’s definitely a lack of positive conflict resolution,” Kareem said. They have conflict resolution but it usually ends in death or gun violence.”
Crystal said change for the next generation needs to start with better examples and better mentors.
“What they’re learning is what they’re seeing, unfortunately,” Crystal said.
Wilson hopes people pause before escalating an argument into shots fired.
“I would rather say, ‘Look, it’s not that deep.'” Hines said. “Let me walk away rather than take somebody’s life or lose my life over something that doesn’t even matter.”
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office is now reviewing the case and will determine a final charging decision for King.