INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man has been released from custody after witnesses claim he shot a neighbor to death outside a home on Indy’s east side.
Just minutes before police were called to Orion Ave. Tuesday night and found a man shot, the victim’s roommate says he went outside and was yelled at by a neighbor who lives in the same duplex.
“This guy threatened me. He told me next time I step in his yard he’s going to shoot me, kill me,” said Chris Snedeker.
Chris claims he went inside and told his roommate what happened. It’s not clear if the roommate tried to confront the neighbor, but minutes later Chris saw his friend shot in the front yard.
“It’s just, it’s hard,” said Snedeker. “He was a kind-hearted person. He didn’t bother nobody.”
Chris wiped away tears knowing his roommate died at the hospital.
After the shooting, IMPD SWAT officers surrounded the home and a man and woman quickly surrendered. Police don’t think anyone else was involved in the incident.
While the suspected gunman was taken into custody, police released that man hours later. Police have not explained exactly why the suspected shooter was released from custody, but the news came as a surprise to Chris.
“Yeah he’s out and it just scares me,” said Snedeker.
Just last week in a different case, the suspected shooter in a homicide on Rural also surrendered to police on scene before he too was released without charges.
IMPD reports that 11 of this year’s 55 homicides are considered non-criminal. That’s a huge increase compared to the last two years. In 2022, there were only 14 non-criminal homicides for the entire year.
A homicide is any case where someone kills another person, but not all homicides are considered crimes. Cases of self-defense are ruled non-criminal homicides. That number does tend to fluctuate depending on whether the prosecutor’s office decides a case merits criminal charges.
“It is certainly more than we’ve seen in the past, but there’s no specific pattern as to why these have occurred,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley.
“I don’t know why people have to use guns. If you’re angry, just let it go and then come back and talk about it,” said Snedeker.
Ultimately it will be up to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office to decide if any criminal charges should be filed in this case.
Anyone with information about this incident should call Detective Matthew Melkey at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317.327.3475 or e-mail the detective at Matthew.Melkey@indy.gov.
Alternatively, they can call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317.262.8477 or (TIPS) to remain anonymous.