Friday, January 27, 2012

Maniac Shoots Four Strangers In Kokomo Neighborhood

Police: We No Not Have A Motive Or A Connection Between Victims
Re-printed from a story at WTHR Channel 13 on January 27thth 2012

Deranged man calmly walks through an Indiana neighborhood fatally shooting neighbors.

A suspect is in custody in the shooting of four people near downtown Kokomo. Police identified the suspect as 36-year-old Turama Stitts of Kokomo. According to the Indiana Department of Corrections, Stitts served 2 years in prison for Forgery and Fraud from 2004 to 2006.

Police are not saying yet what the motive might have been. They say he shot four people in the head - two of them have died.

Argena Williams, 48, was killed and three others were injured in the shootings that shocked the neighborhood, which is near downtown Kokomo.

It started with a shooting at 7:00 PM Wednesday night and was followed by three more shootings Thursday starting at around 11:30 am. A 40-year-old woman is in critical condition, and a 51-year-old man was also injured.

Mayor Greg Goodnight called it a "rough day" for his city.

"Four shootings in less than 24 hours is something that we haven't seen," said Lt. Don Whitehead, Kokomo Police.

Turama StittsKokomo Police Chief Robert Baker says officials were going door to door seeking information and reassuring residents.

Police say they found the body of 48-year-old Argena Williams at Taylor and Apperson Way. Minutes after making the discovery, officers found a woman shot around the corner in the 400 block of North Purdum. She was identified as 40-year-old Miriam Mallory.

Williams died after being brought to a local hospital. Mallory was taken by ambulance to the hospital for treatment. Her condition is unknown at this time.

Both Williams and Mallory had gunshot wounds to the head.

Police were called to the 600 block of East Taylor at around 1:10 PM where they found Ricky Patterson, 51, with a gunshot wound to the head. Patterson is being treated for his injuries. His condition is unknown.

Witnesses described a possible suspect to the Patterson shooting as a black male with a beard, wearing a Carhartt-style jacket.

No residents were evacuated, but police held a four-block area while they conducted an all-day search.

Wednesday night, medics were called to the 300 block of East Mulberry Street to attend a man found lying on the side of the street. They found 64-year-old David Gibson of Kokomo unconscious with a gunshot wound to the forehead.

Gibson was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in critical condition.

Witnesses told police they heard a gunshot at around 7:00 PM.

"We're talking and with these citizens. We're making sure they feel safe," said Chief Baker.

Police mounted extra patrols in a neighborhood that is on edge.

"Just escalating from where it started out. So bad now we've got to do something to stop it," said Pastor Roland Taylor.

Neighborhood activist Harold Watkins added, "We're worried about the drug business in this town. It's gonna spread all over and it's going to get more violent."

Police are not saying that drugs were the motive. It's still unclear how the victims are related and if they knew the shooter. However, according to recently released court documents Stitts believed the victims were "trying to kill him".

Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Detective Chad Rodgers at (765) 456-7350, the Kokomo Police Department Hotline at (765) 456-7017 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

References:
WTHR Channel 13, One Dead In Kokomo Shootings
Indy Star, Man Arrested In Kokomo Shootings That Killed 2
WRTV Channel 6, 2nd Man Dies After 4 Shot Near Downtown Kokomo
Indiana Dept. Of Corrections, Inmate Search: Stitts