Police: Zionsville homeowner shot while helping apparent stranded driver

Police say a man claiming to be a stranded driver shot a homeowner in Zionsville Monday, March 14, 2016. (WISH Photo)

ZIONSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Police say a homeowner was shot while helping a man claiming to be a stranded driver Monday evening in Zionsville.

The homeowner was rushed to the hospital where he underwent surgery. Police are hoping that once he’s able to think clearly, he’ll be able to provide clues to help track down the suspect or suspects.

According to police, the victim has been identified as 58-year-old George Eyrich of Zionsville. His condition has not been released yet.

It was just after 9 Monday night in the quiet Austin Oaks subdivision when a stranger came to the door. He said he needed pliers to fix cables on his broken down vehicle. The homeowner was willing to help.

“He went and got this tool. When he brought it back to the gentleman at the front door, a scuffle ensued,” said Zionsville Police Chief Robert Knox.

According to police, the suspect tried to force his way into the home, but the homeowner fought back. The fight spilled out onto the lawn, where police say the suspect pulled out a gun and fired at least one shot. A bullet pierced the victim’s leg.

Police K-9s searched the neighborhood for several hours but were unable to track down the suspect.

Ellen Narva lives a couple houses down. “In between those two houses I saw a flashlight and a couple of guys,” she said. “Then I heard some talking. I thought that looks a little odd. But I don’t know. Maybe somebody is looking for a dog or their cat or something.”

But that wasn’t the case. Police aren’t sure what his motive was, but they do question whether the suspect really had car trouble. After the shooting, they say he jumped into a vehicle and left the area.

“I’m coming home at that time from an event. How about if I come into my garage and someone shows up at my garage. That’s kind of frightening,” Narva added.

In a neighborhood where flowers are already in bloom, and kids ride their bikes without supervision, Narva is beginning to rethink her family’s safety.

“I guess I’m going to test the house alarm and make sure that all the doors and windows are locked. Check, make sure everything [is secure], you know? A little bit different, but it puts us on guard,” she said.

Police say the suspect could’ve been travelling with others. He left the home in an unknown direction.

A vague description was released on Tuesday. Police say there are looking for a black male who is about 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs about 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing a black jacket.

Authorities are asking homeowners with surveillance to review video. If you have any information that could help police in this investigation, contact the Zionsville Police Department at (317) 873-5967.

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