FORTVILLE, Ind. – “Phats shot me.”

Investigators said the simple text message helped them solve a May 8 (Mother’s Day) case in which a man was shot in the face. Fortville officers were dispatched to Park Creek Drive on a shots fired call around 1:30 p.m.

There, they found a man holding the right side of his face walking “back and forth” on the road. The man was covered in blood. Neighbors said he had been staying at a home in the neighborhood.

Police asked him his name and if he knew who shot him, but they were unable to understand him due to his injuries. He did nod to indicate he knew who’d shot him.

Police were unable to talk to the man at the hospital because he’d been sedated. He had a phone and $85 in cash with him, according to court documents. His rose gold iPhone had a crack at the bottom and some bloodstains on the front.

A Fortville Police Department vehicle responds to the scene of a shooting.
A Fortville Police Department vehicle responds to the scene of shooting on May 8, 2022.

Fortville police obtained a search warrant and received help from the Fishers Police Department in downloading information from the iPhone. The victim had been texting a person listed as “Phats” under his contacts. The two had messaged each other on the morning of the shooting; the man had asked Phats to pick him up.

Shortly after the shooting, the man texted Phats, “why u do that?”

He also texted another person, “Phats shot me,” to which the individual replied, “Bro what?” The man sent his friend a photo of his injured face from the ambulance.

Police later identified Phats as 24-year-old Tiquest Meyers. Witnesses reported seeing a brown or bronze Volkswagen Jetta leave the scene of the shooting; police said a license plate camera traced the car back to Meyers. His phone number matched the contact information for “Phats.”

At one point, McCordsville police spotted the car and tried to make a traffic stop, leading to a pursuit. They terminated the chase after losing sight of the car, which had been traveling between 80 and 100 mph. Officers said the “erratic” driver disregarded traffic lights, putting public safety at risk.

Investigators also talked to witnesses who saw the shooting. One man said he was outside mulching when a car parked outside the home where the victim was staying. Meyers got out and fired “7 to 10 rounds” at the victim. The witness reported hearing “3 or 4” more gunshots as the victim returned fire, with Meyers firing “2 or 3” times after that.

Meyers then drove off, the witness said.

Another witness reported hearing a distant gunshot and then another that sounded closer. He saw two men exchanging gunfire, according to court documents.

The victim was shot in the right corner of his mouth and suffered a fractured jawbone, police said. Police said he eventually named Tiquan Meyers as the person who shot him.

The probable cause affidavit didn’t disclose a motive.

Meyers was formally charged in the case on June 17. Police arrested him in Indianapolis on June 29.  He’s charged with attempted murder and criminal recklessness.