MUNCIE, Ind. (AP) — Police said Tuesday they have made an arrest in connection with a weekend shooting that left one person dead and 17 others wounded in a central Indiana city.
Deputy Muncie Police Chief Melissa Criswell said a 36-year-old Muncie man had been preliminarily charged with several felonies and that evidence would be forwarded to Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman for review “and consideration of additional charges.”
The preliminary charges against the man arrested were not specified in Criswell’s news release.
The shooting early Sunday unfolded at a block party attended by hundreds of revelers as police were calling the venue’s owner to shut down the gathering, authorities said Monday.
The shooting killed 30-year-old Joseph E. Bonner III, whom Muncie Police Chief Nathan Sloan said was among those attending the large party in the city about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Indianapolis.
Sloan said police were aware that the owner of a business that periodically rents out space for events was hosting a block party that got “out of control,” with between 500 and up to 1,000 in attendance. Photos of the scene showed police tags marking what appeared to be dozens of bullets on the street.
Sloan said police were not at the scene at the time of the shooting just after 1 a.m. Sunday, but they were trying to get the business owner to end the party.
“We made a phone call to the owner and asked him to get things shut down. The streets were packed. Before we could make contact and get something done, before we could get that shut down, the gunfire erupted,” Sloan said during a news conference Monday.
Police were asking for any witnesses to the shooting or people with pictures or video of the incident to contact the Muncie Police Department, he said. Some people at the scene refused to tell officers what had happened, Sloan said.
He declined to provide details of the investigation, including how many people may have fired weapons, but described a scene of chaos as officers and first responders arrived at the location on Muncie’s east side.
“Our people were applying tourniquets, administering first aid, providing CPR. And they we were rushing people to the hospital in our police cars because we didn’t have time to wait,” Sloan said.
Mayor Dan Ridenour said the shooting had left the community “shaken to the core by violence,” and he choked up repeatedly during the news conference.
After the shooting, police had to separate people in a Muncie hospital’s parking lot who were arguing and officers had to clear a path at the hospital’s entrance for anyone needing medical attention to enter, Criswell said.
Criswell said that two of the people wounded in Sunday’s shooting were minors, and that a nineteenth person who was injured may have been struck by a car.