INDIANAPOLIS — Jacquareous Mitchell was out Saturday afternoon picking up snacks for the four kids he left back at the Hawthorn Apartments when he reportedly spotted his brother being confronted inside a gas station/food mart at 3402 North Emerson Avenue and went to help.
“By 5:30-5:45 I got a phone call saying he was in the gas station dead,” said Jada Catchings, Mitchell’s girlfriend. “He was just supposed to be going to get our kids pizza. My oldest. She feels horrible. She feels like she’s the reason her daddy went to the gas station.”
Killed along with Mitchell, 26, was his half-brother, 29-year-old Jimmy Thomas.
“My boyfriend, he’s legal, he’s fully licensed to carry. He doesn’t go anywhere without his firearms. So I know that he had them with him,” said Catchings. “I wanna say it came from an apartment beef. I wanna say that the people who were staying out here at one point in time at Hawthorn, it’s all connected. It’s not just a random act. I think it was all leading up to this.”
Catchings said Thomas’ apartment had been shot up this past winter and she suspects two men who were staying in an abandoned unit nearby as being responsible for Saturday’s killings.
“I think it was a very personal hit. I think it was so personal that when I was on the crime scene, my house got broken into,” she said. “My dog was shaking. They beat her. They stole my TV. They tossed my room. They threw all his stuff around.”
In April there have been four homicides related to that store in the middle of the 46218 zip code, one of the most violent areas of Indianapolis’ east side.
“This whole thing goes back to conflict resolution. We’ve seen a lot of this lately,” said IMPD Sgt. Genae Cook. “People don’t understand that just because you’re having an argument or disagreement doesn’t give you the right to shoot someone. And it’s not necessary.”
IMPD homicide detectives said there may be an element of self-defense at play in this most recent shooting and would like to hear the gunman’s version of the incident.
Catchings said she isn’t waiting around.
“I’m moving. Today will be my last day in Indianapolis,” she said while packing up her car for a return to Michigan City. “I don’t feel comfortable here. It’s just too close to home.”