INDIANAPOLIS — There’s a convenience store on the south side of Indianapolis where signs and stickers cover up several bullet holes left in glass from a semi-automatic rifle fired by a man who was mad that he got caught shoplifting a bottle of water.
“My cousin sent me the video, and he said the same guy stole the water out of the cooler and didn’t pay for it and walked out,” the store owner told FOX59 anonymously because he fears retaliation. “I trespassed him, and he came in after a couple days, and I told him, ‘You stole the water the other day, and you stole that thing, and you keep doing it.’
“So I just like called the cops on him.”
That led to two incidents on two consecutive days earlier this month when bullets from a high-powered rifle shattered the store’s windows and frames and cooler doors and even destroyed wiring inside the refrigerated unit.
“We heard like shots, shots through that window,” said the owner. ”I’m glad I wasn’t standing outside because there was like 10 bullets from that window, was very scary, and that was like 10 rapid shots from AR. It was bad.”
The 24-year-old man was arrested and charged on two counts of criminal recklessness but does not face a charge of not having a gun permit.
The suspect is being investigated for potential involvement in other shooting cases.
In the probable cause affidavit, the man admitted to detectives that he fired at the store twice because “his trust has been broken with the owner.” The man said he was unemployed and under stress, and at a previous job “he felt that he did not fit in and that his coworkers were rude.”
The shop owner told FOX59 that on a previous occasion, the man offered him a stale loaf of bread and a fake Rolex watch to compensate for the stolen bottle of water.
“The first time when I was giving him a trespass so I called the cops, and he said something about the Rolex, and I said, ‘You stealing a $1 bottle of water, and you claim you giving me the Rolex?’ and he said, ‘Yeah,’ and I said, ‘How you get it? How you get the Rolex when you stealing $1 bottle?’ and he said he shot somebody and got it from his wrist, and that’s the time I thought, he’s crazy.”
In the affidavit, a detective wrote the suspect “made an interesting statement about the significance of giving the watch with bread and something about the number 33 and about being very Jesus like for giving the gift.”
The man bonded out of jail and is living with his father who, according to the affidavit, has an AR-15 in his home.
Indianapolis’ 2022 homicide total stands just one shy of 100, 18 fewer than on this date a year ago when the city was on a record pace for killing, which included three mass murders during the first part of the year.
IMPD detectives continue to investigate the city’s most recent killing, the murder of a man at an apartment complex in the 6100 block of North Rural Street early Saturday morning.
Non-fatal shooting incidents are down 14.7% compared to last year, and the number of victims is down by 13.3%
IMPD officers were on the scene of a shots fired incident at Illinois and Market streets downtown early Sunday morning that listed two people as victims, with one walking into the emergency room at Methodist Hospital. A 17-year-old male was arrested and charged with battery with a deadly weapon and possession of a dangerous firearm by a minor.
Advocates who work with at-risk youth from some of Indianapolis’ most violent neighborhoods said the gun culture permeates their lives.
“They are around it,” said Shonna Majors, director of the Brightwood Community Center. “Someone of their friends or cousin or uncle has firearms. They see it in the neighborhoods that they live in. It’s all around every day.”