INDIANAPOLIS — Felony charges have been filed and a warrant has been issued for the arrest of a man police said was involved in a deadly shooting of a teenager outside the Castleton Square Mall.
According to court documents, a warrant has been issued for the arrest of 19-year-old Clyde Michael Johnson for his alleged involvement in the early January shooting. Documents show Johnson now faces the following charges:
- Voluntary manslaughter (a level 2 felony)
- Aggravated battery resulting in loss/impairment of a bodily function (a level 3 felony), and
- Battery by means of a deadly weapon (a level 5 felony).
The charges stem from a deadly shooting on Jan. 3 that killed 16-year-old Michael Mason Jr. and left another man injured.
According to court docs, Indianapolis Metro police crews were called around 7:45 p.m. to the mall’s parking lot for a person shot. IMPD said officers eventually located two people who had been shot in the mall’s south parking lot, just outside of the H&M clothing store.
Both victims, IMPD said, were taken to St. Vincent Hospital for treatment. The 16-year-old Mason was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
The second victim, a 21-year-old man, was shot three times in the leg. He was reported to be in stable condition at the hospital.
IMPD said that uniformed officers took Clyde Johnson into custody for a statement after he approached them and said he was the shooter. He was taken to IMPD’s homicide office and was read his Miranda rights, court docs show.
During his interview with detectives, IMPD said Johnson described sitting in the back seat of his friend’s white Chevrolet Impala while his friends shopped inside the mall.
“Clyde was looking at his phone when he observed a male approach each side of the vehicle
and attempt to open the front doors,” court docs state. “He did not see either male with anything in their hands, and neither male said anything.”
Johnson told IMPD that he thought the two people were going to rob him, so he grabbed his 9mm handgun for protection.
While Johnson told police he thought he was in danger, the surviving victim said he and his friend had just mistaken the white Impala for their own and hadn’t realized. IMPD said that another, almost identical, car was found parked in the same lot where the shooting took place.
“[The victim] and Michael [Mason Jr.] inadvertently attempted to open the doors of a different white Cheverolet Impala,” court docs read. “When Justin realized it was the wrong vehicle, a male in the backseat fired approximately five or six shots toward Michael.”
A firearm with an extended magazine was found in the trunk of Clyde’s vehicle, IMPD said, and the rear passenger’s window appeared to be shot out.
According to statements from Johnson, the surviving victim and other witnesses, Johnson then got out of the car and chased the male victim who began running away. The victim got several feet away from Johnson when he tripped and attempted to hide in a bush, court docs say.
“The shooter pursued [the victim] and fired more shots at [him] from an approximate distance of 8-10 feet,” court docs read. “[The victim] told the shooter that he attempted to enter the wrong car. [The victim] pretended to be dead, and the shooter returned to the original crime scene.”
While Johnson admitted to police that he did shoot at the victim, he said he only fired one shot and that he did not hear the victim yelling about the cars.
“Clyde further explained that he was ‘chasing him to make sure he didn’t go anywhere because I knew the cops were coming’ and ‘I went to find him…They can’t get away. If I was to let them get away, they would return and finish me off’,” court docs state. “Clyde stated he returned to his vehicle, asked a person to call an ambulance, and remained on scene until police arrived.”
IMPD said Johnson told them he feared the men approaching the car because he had been a witness to a previous, unrelated homicide. He told police that he was “being hunted”.
On March 14, a warrant request was filed in Marion County Superior Court for the arrest of Johnson.