(IN) Man thwarts robbery, shoots four suspects


March 7, 2003, 01:00 PM
Man thwarts robbery, shoots four suspects
Police say man was defending family, property


It was early Thursday morning -- just after 2 a.m. -- when Sherry Lewis awoke from a deep sleep on her living room couch and saw three intruders in her home.
One was armed with a 7-inch pocketknife, another with a pool cue. They had entered through the unlocked door.

Before the 39-year-old Lewis could do much, the intruders attacked and brutally beat her face, back and shoulders.

Her companion, Jeffrey Shaw, heard the commotion from the bedroom and tried to come to her aid.

But the three overpowered him, beating him also and stabbing him once in the left side.

They left him bleeding on the floor.

They then turned their attention to Lewis' two children, ages 14 and 10, who were asleep in their bedrooms.

The 14-year-old girl was forced into the master bedroom; the 10-year-old boy was told to stay in his room and keep quiet.

"This was a brutal, brutal attack on this family," said Grant County Sheriff Oatess Archey.

According to sheriff's detective Sgt. Kevin Pauley, the intruders then started to ransack the rooms of the one-story home, 5970 W. 700S, shoving some items into a pillowcase to take with them.

After about 10 minutes, Shaw was able to get into the bedroom in which he kept a .22-caliber rifle, Pauley said.

There were 16 bullets were in the rifle when Shaw burst out of the bedroom, intent on getting the intruders away from his family, away from his house.

Seconds later, the rifle was empty.

Shaw, 41, had shot all three intruders, Pauley said. The men then fled through a door on the east side of the house into a waiting car.

They dropped the pillowcase in the driveway.

A fourth person, the car's driver, also was grazed by a bullet, Pauley said.

Shaw managed also to flatten the left front tire on the car, a white 1994 Dodge Shadow, before it pulled away.

Police officers who arrived at the house were able to get both Shaw and Lewis to Marion General Hospital for treatment. Both were treated and later released.

Pauley said that just minutes after getting the 911 call, deputies located the suspects' car at Grant County Road 300 West and Ind. 22.

They discovered three men inside, James E. Watson, 24, Troy Riggs, 17, and Courtney "Cory" Browning, 18, had gunshot wounds on various parts of their bodies, Pauley said.

Watson's wife, 23-year-old Lisa Ann (Garber) Watson, was the driver, Pauley said, and had a superficial wound to her left side.

Ambulances took all four people, who police say lived at the same residence at 1512 S. Branson St., to Marion General Hospital for treatment.

Lisa Watson was released after a short time and was arrested.

Police say Riggs had gunshot wounds to the back and left arm, Browning had wounds to the left leg and James Watson had gunshot wounds to the upper torso, front and back.

All were hospitalized and still were being treated for their gunshot wounds late Thursday night. No information was available on their medical conditions, but Pauley said none of the wounds are expected to be life-threatening.

The three men have not been arrested yet, but the remain under sheriff's department guard at the hospital, said Capt. Darrell Himelick.

Meanwhile, after nearly 12 hours of investigating the scene and interviewing witnesses, Pauley and sheriff's Detective Jim Kinzie went to Grant County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bill Heck with their findings.

Late on Thursday afternoon, Grant Superior Court 2 Judge Randall Johnson approved preliminary charges against all four people.

Heck said he plans to file formal charges against the four this morning.

But charges against Shaw are not likely. Police described his actions as a clear-cut case of self defense.

"This individual was protecting himself, his family and his property at the time," Pauley said.

Although Heck said prosecutors will continue to investigate every angle of the case, he initially concurred with Pauley's opinion.

"Based on what I've heard, at least preliminarily, it seems to me that Mr. Shaw was doing what most of us would do if they were beaten and stabbed," he said.

Pauley said Riggs was familiar with the house and its residents, but police are investigating whether that was a factor in the assault.

He added that all three men doubtlessly knew the home was occupied when they entered because of the late hour and the presence of cars in the driveway.

Police are urging county residents to use caution in the wake of the incident.

"This was a rural area. Not much really happens in this area," Pauley said. "But start locking your doors.

"But I'm sure a locked door wouldn't have kept these three out anyway."

If you enjoyed reading about "(IN) Man thwarts robbery, shoots four suspects" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Greg L
March 7, 2003, 01:03 PM

Too bad there wasn't a 3 after the .22

March 7, 2003, 01:36 PM
Too bad there wasn't a 3 after the .22 or perhaps a /250 after the .22 or maybe 0Swift after the .22

March 7, 2003, 01:49 PM

2 A.M. Unlocked door. Why?

Riggs was familiar with the house and its residentsMessing with vermin seldom benefits anybody.

Not a random attack, and now those perps have a grudge and will likely be "out" before long.

Wholly disgusting crime! :cuss:

March 7, 2003, 02:32 PM

Stupid punks - scaring and endangering kids is just the lowest thing you can do.

Pop should have bought an AR not a 10-22.

10 rounds sounds like a lot until you have 4 people breaking into your house. If you do not have at least a 40% hit ratio, you are in trouble - even then....

El Tejon
March 7, 2003, 04:20 PM
Blackhawk, Residential Burglary w/DW or SBI in Indiana carries sentencing range of 20 to 50 for Class A felony with presumptive of 30. Happen to know a little about Grant Super 2. If allegations proven, would anticipate well in excess of presumptive. (Day for day is possible in DOC).

16 rounds--sounds like a Marlin M60, right?

March 7, 2003, 04:52 PM
But ... but ... some of them were shot in the back and no one has started squealing about how he should have let them run away and that this was an unjust shoot?

What's that sound? Oh yes ... that's the sound of an area with a decent justice system.

March 7, 2003, 04:54 PM
No honest man needs more than 10 rounds! :cuss:

El Tejon
March 7, 2003, 04:55 PM
cordex, we shall see. Don't forget Problem #2 has many facets.

March 7, 2003, 05:36 PM
The description 16-shot .22 rifle sounds like it is along the line of what both my Dad and Father-in-law have from the 1950s. Long barrel and tube fed. One of the slowest cycling semi-autos made. Sounds like fast enough tho to make BGs shag. :)

Edited to add: Quote "16 rounds--sounds like a Marlin M60, right?"

Or, per above, maybe Savage. Seems like one of 'em maybe even private labeled by Sears and Roebuck ... Old "ker-chunkers", but quite accurate. Maybe less grief down the road if GG above did his part a little better ...

Standing Wolf
March 7, 2003, 09:37 PM
All were hospitalized and still were being treated for their gunshot wounds late Thursday night.

There's the problem.

March 7, 2003, 10:49 PM
If there's an argument for having a high-capcity mag-fed autochucking rifle, this would be pretty darned close.


El Tejon
March 7, 2003, 10:51 PM
Cap'n, how about just 3 rounds of #4 buckshot?;)

If you enjoyed reading about "(IN) Man thwarts robbery, shoots four suspects" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!