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Woman Killed, Three Injured in Indianapolis Shootout Between Neighbors Over Fireworks Dispute

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — A Fourth of July celebration turned deadly on Indianapolis’ near northwest side when a dispute between neighbors escalated into a shootout, leaving one woman dead and three others injured.

The incident occurred just before 9:30 p.m. Thursday. According to cell phone video shared by a neighbor, a man standing at his front door fired the first shot into a crowd of people next door, sparking a gunfight.

The victims returned fire, resulting in a chaotic exchange of gunfire that ended with the death of Heather Walters, 48, who was inside the suspect’s home.

“I’m frustrated because this could have been avoided. This didn’t have to happen,” said a woman living next to the suspect, who requested anonymity.

Police reports indicate that she had called officers to the scene more than an hour before the shooting, alleging that her neighbor had threatened her family with a gun due to their fireworks.

“He said if you keep lighting off fireworks, I’m going to shoot something over there. That’s what he said,” she recounted.

Although police investigated the initial disturbance, they left without making any arrests. Shortly after their departure, video captured the suspect shooting into the crowd of neighbors, who then fired back, shattering the glass on the suspect’s front door.

The suspect reportedly continued to shoot from a side window as his neighbors returned fire. Walters was killed in the crossfire.

“I mean what do we think is going to occur on July 4th? People are going to use fireworks. That’s no reason to get into a disturbance and shoot at your neighbors. It makes no logical sense,” said IMPD chief Chris Bailey.

The anonymous neighbor’s two sons were shot in the face and leg but both survived.

Police records show that the woman had called police multiple times in recent months to report issues with the same neighbor.

“I have numerous reports and calls on him for basically the same thing and the police came out and did nothing,” she said.

“Those type of incidents are hard for police to impact between people who should know how to deal with conflict, other than with a handgun,” added Bailey.

The neighbor who fired the first shot was hospitalized and faces possible criminal charges. No other arrests have been made so far.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call Detective Kevin Roell at the IMPD Homicide Office at 317.327.3475 or e-mail [email protected]. Alternatively, they can call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317.262.8477 to remain anonymous.

 

 

 

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