INDIANAPOLIS– An Indianapolis man has pleaded guilty to shooting and killing a mail carrier over an argument about non-delivery caused by an aggressive dog.
On Tuesday, Tony Cushingberry pleaded guilty to second-degree murder. The charge stemmed from the April 2020 murder of Angela Summers while she was working her mail route.
Court documents show the United States Postal Service suspended mail delivery at his home because of an aggressive dog. Investigators say he confronted Summers on a neighbor’s porch and demanded mail.
“We all miss her. It was a senseless tragedy,” said Paul Toms with the National Association of Letter Carriers.
Police say summers was confronted along Denny Street and shot following a brief argument.
According to court records, the suspect admitted he fired the fatal shot but claimed he only meant to scare the victim not kill her.
“The reality is that senseless act destroyed numerous lives,” said Toms.
President of the postal union Paul Toms told FOX59 in 2020 that there was a history of issues at the address where the shooting happened. The USPS sent the home letters warning them about the dog before telling them to go to the post office to make alternate arrangements of how to get their mail delivered.
The union representative also believed Cushingberry was angry over not getting the stimulus check delivered to the home.
Witnesses saw Summers and Cushingberry arguing. Summers sprayed him with mace, and that’s when he pulled out a gun and shot her in the chest.
Toms says Summers died just shy of securing career status with the post office, which meant she didn’t have life insurance, but the union did help raise $72,000 for her daughter.
“The US Postal Service is a core part of federal government and people that attack them will be held accountable in federal court,” said United States Attorney Zachary Myers.
The United States attorney says attacks on poster workers have become all too common. In recent months, multiple mail carriers have been robbed or carjacked in and around Indianapolis. Those attacks are all federal crimes.
“The message I hope people take is the murder of an innocent government worker just doing her job is just unacceptable,” said Myers.
“People need to understand postal workers are federal employees,” said Toms. “The penalties are more severe than the normal crimes involving the state.”
Cushingberry is scheduled to be sentenced at a later date. He faces a maximum of life in federal prison.
Jesse Wells contributed to this report