INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department arrested two teens for murder and robbery at a northeast side clothing store Sunday.
IMPD officials said 18-year-old Deaundre Graves and a 17-year-old juvenile, both of Indianapolis, were being held in connection to the investigation. Police say they are pursuing additional leads in the case as well as additional suspects.
The case will be handed over to the Marion County prosecutor’s office for formal charges to be filed.
The robbery and shooting happened around 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Body Gear clothing store near 38th and Rural streets.
Officials say 36-year-old Ho Lee of Noblesville was a family friend of the people who own the shop, in town to help with the business. They say Lee tried to stop suspects who were shoplifting when someone shot both him and a customer. Lee was shot in the head and transported to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Health in critical condition. He later died during surgery.
A neighboring employee told 24-Hour News 8 he ran into the clothing store and tried to help.
“I ran down to see what was going on, and I saw him laying there. I just started ripping open T-shirts, trying to stop the bleeding from the side of his head,” said the man.
Another man said he ran over from the Auto Zone next door.
“I walked around the store and that’s when I saw another body over there, a shopper, senselessly shot,” he added.
Police say 19-year-old Diamond Slaughter was shot in the leg and transported to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Health in good condition. Slaughter’s aunt and brother say she was shopping at the store when she was shot.
“Oh God, my heart went to my feet because of all the killings that’ve been going on,” said Karen Lee.
Slaughter’s brother also came to the scene.
“She was just crying, just upset. It’s just crazy right now. I’m just worried about my mom,” said Antonio Sanders.
As family and friends found out about the shootings, they came rushing to the scene all afternoon. Customers and former employees also came to the scene, becoming emotional when they heard the news, saying they knew the store and those inside well.
“He’s like family to me, he’s very much like family,” said one woman.
Witnesses told police they saw four to six suspects fleeing the store after the shooting. Police say they found one suspect walking not far from the scene and that person at first fled, then pointed a gun at the officer following him. Once the officer drew his weapon, the suspect dropped theirs and surrendered.
Officials found another suspect standing on property near 3900 Meadows Drive. They say both suspects had clothing believed to be stolen from the store.
A number of witnesses were in the store and transported to IMPD headquarters via an IndyGo bus for questioning.
Officers are asking anyone with information on this incident to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477). Callers may also text “INDYCS” plus tip information to 274627 (CRIMES).