Man arrested following early morning shooting at VFW

Vernell Ballard, 20, changed his plea and was sentenced to 545 days with community corrections on home detention. (Provided Photo/ IMPD)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Several shots rang out on the city’s east side early Sunday morning.

Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department say that a birthday party at the VFW Post 2999 in the 3500 block of English Avenue resulted in a shooting around 12:30 a.m.

Neighbors in the area say they heard dozens of gunshots.

IMPD was processing evidence at three different scenes near English Avenue and Lasalle Street.

“If there’s gunshots, people are running. That’s kind of what transpired as what officers were pulling up. Several people, several cars going every which way. Officers had to sort through that and try to determine which is suspect, victim or a person of interest,” said IMPD Sergeant Kendale Adams.

According to a press release officers were advised of a Monte Carlo that was seen fleeing the scene. Officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but a vehicle pursuit ensued. After a short pursuit officers were able to pull the vehicle over.

Inside the officers found the driver 20-year-old Vernell Ballard and passenger Jabar Ballard, 18. Jabar had gunshot wounds to his elbow and torso. Vernell didn’t have any injuries and was arrested for resisting law enforcement.

Another vehicle believed to also be involved was located with 19-year-old Avery Gooch, 18-year-old Tremaine Montgomery and a 23-year-old unidentified male . Montgomery had a gunshot wound in his lower back and Gooch had a gunshot wound near his ear and head.

A fourth victim was located in he 1000 block of Rural Street. He sustained a gunshot wound to his right leg.

None of the gunshot wounds appeared to be life-threatening.

Police believe the shots were fired by those attending a birthday party at VFW. The shooting began after people were forced out of the building. Shots were fired in the parking lot of the building.

A security guard at the VFW fired his weapon, at this time it is not believed he was responsible for any of the injuries to the victims.

A gun was recovered from one of the vehicles. Several shell casings were also recovered from the VFW.

It was still unclear who or what started the fight that turned to gun fire.

Anyone with information about the shooting should contact Crime Stoppers of Indiana at 317-262-TIPS. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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