LAWRENCE, Ind. — A teenager remains in the hospital while police are working to identify two other people allegedly involved in an attempted armed robbery of a pawn shop employee in Lawrence.
The incident happened Tuesday afternoon just before 4 p.m. near Indy Pawn along N. Franklin Rd. on the rear side of the building.
Lawrence police said an employee was walking outside the store when he was approached by three individuals, at least one of whom was allegedly armed with a gun.
“The three individuals attempted to rob the pawn shop employee. There was an exchange of gunfire that resulted from that. One of the individuals who was committing the robbery was struck by some of that gunfire,” said Gary Woodruff, deputy chief of the Lawrence Police Department.
Lawrence police said it was a 14-year-old boy that was shot during the incident.
“In the aftermath of the shooting, the two individuals that were with the 14-year-old that was shot, they grabbed him and put him inside of a vehicle and fled down to the area of 38th and Franklin in a neighborhood back there,” said Woodruff. “Where that vehicle crashed, those two individuals fled from the scene and left the injured person there.”
Officers found the injured teen, rendered aid and called medics, who transported him to an area hospital where he was initially said to be in serious, but stable condition. He remains in the hospital recovering from his injuries.
Investigators are still working to identify the other two people with the 14-year-old, who fled from the scene and remain at-large. Authorities said the other two are males, but their ages were not clear Wednesday afternoon.
The incident Tuesday happened along a busy road nearby several businesses.
“We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again, there’s absolutely nothing positive that results from a 14-year-old carrying a firearm and committing an armed felony,” said Woodruff.
“You know, when people make decisions to employ a firearm in this manner it’s potentially life-ending, life-changing on both sides of that gun,” said Woodruff. “That shouldn’t be lost on anybody here. That is potentially life-changing for everybody that is involved in that incident.”
Herbert Ellison told FOX59, he agrees with that message.
“I’ve been where you’ve been. I’ve changed my life, but you never get over it,” said Ellison. “If you start while you’re young and you get your life together now, it’ll work for you.”
Ellison said he served many years behind bars for his involvement in violent crimes with a gun, including the last 18 years straight.
“You’re sitting on that bed for 18 years and you just look at the wall. Why? Because you proved something that you didn’t have to prove,” said Ellison.
He wants young people involved in crime to reconsider their actions.
“You’ve gotta think inside your head, do you want prison the rest of your life, Crown Hill Cemetery the rest of your life,” said Ellison. “When you do something you ain’t hurting just you. You’re hurting your mother, your father, your grandparents.”
Ellison said he wishes he could undo the pain he’s caused and apologize to everyone he’s ever hurt. It’s a reality he doesn’t want any more young people to have face as a result of preventable actions.
“It just ain’t worth it man. So many of these families, man it hurts me to see the hurt on the news that I wish I would’ve never went there,” said Ellison. “These guns, Man, throw them things away.”
Ellison said it’s taken him a long time, but he’s found his purpose again.
“When I think about what I did in the past, that wasn’t life, that was Russian Roulette,” he said. “You name it, I’ve done it, but the life I live now, it’s the first time ever in my life I’m happy.”
Ellison said he goes to work at RecycleForce, comes home, goes to his kids’ sporting events and then goes to bed and does it all over again. RecycleForce provides work and paid job training to people newly released from prison or jail.
“I changed my life. I still got issues, but I work on them every day here,” said Ellison.
It’s a freedom he missed for so long and he hopes that young people don’t take it for granted. He wants them to think about their actions and stop before doing something they can’t undo.
“I’ll never get back off of this track,” he said.
“When you’re young you think that’s fun, til’ you really sit back and realize, it ain’t fun hurting people,” said Ellison.
He hopes the message is loud and clear: it’s not worth it.
“Go play basketball, settle your score like that,” he said. “I just wish all these kids would put these guns down and think about it before you do it. You ain’t got nothing to prove to nobody.”
“Once that trigger starts to get pulled of that gun, you can’t take those bullets back,” said Woodruff. “There are life-altering consequences that come with that. That’s a heavy burden.”
Police ask anyone with information on Tuesday’s incident to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana. You can do so anonymously at (317) 262-8477 (TIPS).