BROWNSBURG, Ind.– The Hendricks County Sheriff’s Office announced Wednesday that all four suspects connected to a shooting that killed a teenager in Hendricks County in December are now in custody.
Antonio Lane was previously arrested in May 2021. On July 13, Kamarion Moody, Jeremy Perez and Tyreontay Jackson were arrested in Indianapolis. All four suspects are now being held at the Hendricks County Jail.
Court documents suggest escalating tensions and online taunts involving rival gangs led to the killing of 17-year-old Freddie Hegwood.
The shooting happened on Dec. 15, 2020 in the area of 10273 Haag Rd. in Brownsburg. Police said Hegwood was sitting in a red Jeep Compass when shots were fired from a Chevy Impala.
He was taken to Eskenazi Hospital in Indianapolis but later died from his injuries.
Investigators found spent ammunition casings, both .223 and .40 caliber, at the shooting scene. There were numerous bullet holes in the Jeep, and several bullets passed through a home north of the shooting scene, according to court documents.
Hegwood’s passenger told police that they were sitting in the Jeep when a black passenger car pulled up and started shooting. The passenger wasn’t hurt, but investigators noted that he “came within inches of being shot himself.”
An investigation into the shooting showed Hegwood was involved in a feud with members of a rival gang who often exchanged insults and, at times, threats, according to court documents.
From the probable cause affidavit:
These individuals are affiliated with the Indianapolis gang, Insane Money Gang (IMG), and a smaller gang within the IMG known as 4 Eva Solid or Davo Gang. Hegwood is affiliated with the Indianapolis gang Kutthroats (KTG) or Gordo Gang and a smaller gang within the KTG known as MBK (My Brother’s Keeper). KTG and IMG are rival gangs that have been involved in numerous documented incidents in the Indianapolis area committed against each other.
Before the shooting, police said Hegwood was on Instagram Live; comments in the video included “the fact that someone could see Hegwood, they are going to shoot him right now” and Hegwood and his passenger “are going to die right now, and they are going to send Hegwood to meet Jesus.”
Investigators learned that Hegwood had been involved in social media and text message feuds in the days leading up to his death. Police traced social media screen names to phone numbers that led them to the individuals charged in the shooting.
Police were also able to track the Chevy Impala through both its temporary license plate and its permanent plate; the car was registered to Moody’s mother. When police searched the car, they swabbed for DNA and gunshot residue. In addition, they located .223 ammunition casings in the dash vent; one of the casings matched those found at the shooting scene.
Before the murder, Hegwood had posted a video outside a residence where Moody used to live and also sent Moody a blurry photograph and asked if “that was where Moody’s girlfriend lived,” according to court documents.
Moody and Hegwood engaged in several Instagram video calls, police said, in which they taunted one another.
Police later searched Moody’s phone, which turned up several references to Hegwood’s shooting, including nicknames for Hegwood, that were part of rap lyrics. Moody also rapped the lyrics in a video police found on the phone.
Three days after the murder, Moody, Lane and Perez took a Greyhound bus to California, police said.
An Instagram post from Perez implicated him in the murder, police said. The post showed Perez with a .223 magazine with rubber bands or tape; other posts showed the same .223 magazine in an AR pistol.
“Ask bro I caught the last opp in his dukes whip (laughing emoji) Dummy (kiss emoji),” one of the posts read.
As investigators noted in the probable cause affidavit, “opp” refers to “opposition,” “dukes” means “mother” and “whip” means car or vehicle. Essentially, Perez was saying people should look at what happened to the last person who crossed him.
Perez’s phone also had references to Hegwood and a video of Perez, Moody, Jackson and Lane posing with firearms at a Shell gas station. The weapons included Glock pistols, which fire .40 caliber ammunition, and AR-style rifles, which fire .223 ammunition.
An analysis of cell phone data placed Jackson near the scene of the shooting around the time it happened. Messages dating back to August 2020 showed Jackson feuding with Hegwood. Lane, who’d also feuded with Hegwood, was also in the same area at the same time, according to cell phone data.
Investigators believe all four were in the Impala, followed Hegwood from a Marathon gas station to the Haag road location where they started shooting. Investigators believe the suspects also knew Hegwood had a passenger in the car and that the passenger was “next on the ‘dead list.’”
Court documents show the shooting occurred at a time where elementary age children were getting off a school bus and walking home. A home located north of where Hegwood was parked had several bullets pass through, but no residents were home at the time.
Charges in the case include murder, attempted murder and criminal recklessness.
Family and community reaction
Hegwood’s sister, Andrea, said she wants people to know that her brother wasn’t a bad person.
“He had a heart of gold and would give the shirt off his back to anyone he loved and even strangers he didn’t know,” she shared. “He made a mistake like we all have, but he was a really good person and changing for the better.”
She also shared that he was preparing to get his commercial driver’s license when he turned 18, which would have been in June.
“He had dreams, and he had goals outside of the lifestyle people portrayed him to have. He was a great son, brother, nephew, uncle and grandson. They didn’t just take my little brother, but they took one of my best friends,” said Andrea.
“I mean, what do you say? It’s heartbreaking. You’re left speechless every time,” said Rashad Cunningham, a long-time religious leader in the Brownsburg community and teaching and community pastor at Mercy Road Church in Carmel.
“Not all of this is just a Brownsburg thing. Some of it is things that happened in other counties, other places, and the actual event happened in Brownsburg,” Cunningham continued.
Cunningham grew up in Brownsburg and said he has watched the community grow throughout the years.
“When I was there, we were very small. We were predominantly white, and I was one of very few black families,” he shared. “We’ve grown in diversity, we’ve grown in differences of opinions and all of that, and with growth, just comes more people. With more people comes more opportunity for them to sin against each other, to hurt each other.”
Cunningham is passionate about using his message of faith to help break down barriers. He believes people need to use the privileges they have to help change their communities and reach people who are facing troubles.
His privilege, he said, is time.
“As a pastor in my church, I’m freed up with time. I don’t have money, I don’t have all these things, but I have time. So out of the abundance of time, I try to place myself into those villages, place myself into those communities and getting involved with the children,” said Cunningham. “I believe there’s hope for everybody. I believe there’s hope for the brothers who were locked up, I believe there’s hope for the families going through all kinds of stuff. I’m praying for the families. I’m praying for the family — the ones who lost Freddie.”
Cunningham said there’s hope for those involved in this type of activity to choose a new path.
“I remember where I was. I was no better than any of these kids involved in this. In fact, many of us are reading this story, we just didn’t get caught,” said Cunningham.
He discovered his own faith and created a path worth going down, something Cunningham said he hopes more young folks can do.
“When everybody in my life began to give up on me because of the road I was going down, I heard the good news that Jesus loved me,” said Cunningham. “I wanted to run to the streets too, because the streets received me when everybody else didn’t receive me.
“When I look at these situations, nobody’s too far away to be loved. Nobody’s too far away to be impacted.”
Addressing gang activity in central Indiana
According to court documents, the suspects and victim in this shooting were associated with two gangs in Indianapolis.
While this is not an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department case and the department cannot comment on this specific investigation, FOX59 wanted to help give viewers a broader understanding of how law enforcement agencies work together to combat gang violence. We reached out to the IMPD deputy chief of criminal investigations, who understands this firsthand through his line of work.
“I think we certainly recognize that, that we have group violence in Marion County and obviously in surrounding counties as well,” Craig McCartt said
McCartt said group violence makes up for a large portion of the violence around the area.
“We know that it’s out there, and so I think what we want to focus on is identifying these groups and then try and identify and get out in front of the conflicts,” he explained.
For those involved in this type of activity in Marion County, McCartt said their message is: “We’re going to hold them responsible, and we’re going to hold them accountable.”
As McCartt explained, some of the greatest leaps have been made due to interagency cooperation and sharing information with law enforcement across the region and state.
“We work closely with all of our federal partners and certainly, law enforcement agencies all around central Indiana,” he said. “We work with the schools. I mean, these are the people who see these kids every day, so they know who they’re involved with and who they’re in conflict with and all that sort of thing.”
McCartt said various agencies talk regularly and meet often to go over information and share with one another to hopefully break the cycle of violence.
“It’s important that we’re all talking with all law enforcement partners and sharing the information we have because many times we’re dealing with the same people, you know, it’s not just jurisdictional boundaries.”
McCartt said being a part of one of these groups or gangs can increase the risk of a person becoming involved in violence either as the suspect or the victim.
“Many times, that’s not even the reason that they might join these groups, but I think they need to know — that young people need to know — that there are other options out there, and they also need to know, and as a community, I think we need to work with these kids to let them know more about conflict resolution.
“So many times what we’re seeing now is the smallest conflict over the silliest things gets resolved, at least in their minds, by picking up a gun and pulling the trigger, and we just need them to know that that is not acceptable. It’s not acceptable here in Indianapolis, it’s not acceptable anywhere else, but we need to teach them how to resolve conflicts.”