UPDATE: On Wednesday, IMPD announced the arrest of 31-year-old Zechari Scott in connection to this case.
IRVINGTON, Ind. — For two months, an Irvington family says they’ve been living in constant fear after shots have been fired into their home on five separate occasions.
“Our lives have been torn apart by this. It’s impacted us just endlessly,” said homeowner Lance Huffman.
According to Huffman, the first time someone fired at the home, a bullet passed through the front window and into the living room. His one-year-old daughter was on the other side of the wall, level with where the bullet stopped.
Huffman said he assumed it was a stray bullet or accidental shooting, but realized that wasn’t the case when his home was shot the second time, with bullets landing in between his daughters’ bedrooms.
“It was really sad. You know, we took them to school one day and the house was shot again. We picked them up and they didn’t go back to their house,” said Huffman. “It was after the second shooting, we were out.”
Since then, the home has been the target of gunfire three more times. IMPD records show the third incident happened on Labor Day in the middle of the afternoon. According to family, the fourth incident happened at night in late September, and the most recent, on Sunday night.
“If anybody was here, I think we would have a — somebody would be dead,” said Huffman.
Several of the incidents have been caught on home surveillance, including the last one Sunday night. In these videos, a white car can be seen pulling up before shots are fired. The vehicle then speeds off, toward E. 16th Street.
“We are always feeling threatened. We don’t have anywhere to go, so there’s no real safe place,” said Huffman.
The damage from the recent shooting is evident throughout the house. Windows are shattered from bullets, which then passed through several rooms to the back of the home.
“Way too many bullets. Absolutely horrendous,” said Huffman.
In addition to bullet holes in doors, windows and walls, a bullet also was found lodged in a bag of children’s toys. It was one of the only items still left in the home after family was forced to flee for their safety.
“It’s a pretty heartbreaking image. It’s a box of our baby’s toys with a bullet in it,” said Huffman.
While Huffman said his family wasn’t home during the most recent incident, he said watching it on surveillance video has been an image almost too difficult to stomach. He shared that the incidents have been traumatizing for his entire family, including his young children.
“This was made to kill. Last night was an attempt to kill, that’s all I know,” he said. “We try not to watch it because it hurts every time. It really does. This is the place we loved, we really loved this house. We didn’t want to leave.”
Huffman said it was the charm of the home, including its original details like the kitchen that remained the same from its first owners, that drew his family in six years ago. He said he imagined his three daughters growing up here and never imagined they would need to leave for the reasons that they’re now facing.
“We planned on giving them this when they got older because this is a great place, but those feelings are gone. It’s a nightmare house now,” he said.
Huffman said this incident has left not only his family in fear, but his neighbors as well. After one of the previous incidents, residents told FOX59 they were terrified for their families and others who have young children living in the neighborhood.
“You don’t like seeing them get caught in it. Nobody should be having to put up with this,” said Huffman.
He shared that he is thankful for his community and neighbors, including many who have rallied around them and offered to help the family move forward
“You’re just kind of in waiting for something to happen, waiting for something to get fixed; waiting for them to catch this guy or make an arrest or something,” said Huffman.
He estimates that around 35 to 40 shots have been fired into his home throughout the incidents, and said this is the most significant damage yet. As the holidays approach, Huffman said all he wants is for whoever is responsible to be held accountable for their actions.
IMPD has not announced an arrest in the case or said whether they have identified any suspects.
Richard Riddle, commander of IMPD East District, provided the following statement:
“The crux of all criminal investigations comes down to eyewitness testimony and physical evidence, neither of which are readily available in this case. Our gun detectives have worked multiple leads and have interviewed a number of people related to this case. While we have a suspect vehicle, we do not have an eyewitness or physical evidence to link a specific person to these shootings. While I understand the frustration from the Huffman family, we must ensure the proper investigate steps are taken to develop probable cause to make an arrest.”East District Commander Richard Riddle
Riddle urged anyone with information is asked to call 317-327-3811. You can also contact Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-TIPS (8477).