Loaded guns were found in nearly every room, along with a large amount of drugs, in the Greenwood home where police said a shootout happened after a man tried to rob the residents.
A shotgun blast can be seen from the front door, along with bullets in vehicles parked in the driveway. Police are still counting how many shots were fired early Tuesday morning, and still working to identify the man who was killed.
Based on the large amount of drugs in the home — mostly marijuana, but also acid and other controlled substances — along with about $4,000 in cash and multiple guns, investigators said they believe the attempted robbery that led to the shootout was drug related.
The shooting is just one of several incidents in recent years related to the sale of marijuana, Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper said.
About 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Greenwood police were called to the home in the 300 block of Bridle Court in the Barton Farms neighborhood, near Stop 18 Road and U.S. 31, on a report that multiple people had been shot. When officers got there, they found a man dead in the street, two residents injured inside and a large amount of marijuana, Greenwood Police Assistant Chief Matt Fillenwarth said.
Ryan Endress, 21, was shot in the thigh and Kaylee Whitaker, also 21, was shot in the arm. Both were taken to Eskenazi Hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injuries and were expected to be released by today, police said.
Endress told police he was letting an acquaintance he had recently met out the door when a man wearing gloves and a bandana covering his face forced his way inside with a gun. The two fought, and Endress got a gun from inside the home, Fillenwarth said.
Both Endress and the other man fired multiple shots. The other man ran from the home, heading to a waiting car, and collapsed in the street and died, Fillenwarth said. The man had no identification, and an autopsy is planned today to try to identify him. Investigators hope to use tattoos, fingerprints or DNA, if needed, to identify him, he said.
Endress will not be charged in the shooting because it would be justified as self defense under Indiana law, Cooper said. But other charges against Endress and Whitaker are being considered due to the drugs in the home, he said.
Neighbors told police they had seen a lot of activity at the home, with people coming and going frequently, Fillenwarth said.
Investigators don’t know if drugs were being sold out of the home, but the amount in the home was too much for personal use, Cooper said.
The smell of marijuana plants was noticeable from outside the home, Fillenwarth said.
Marijuana has become a more popular drug in recent years as it has become legal in other states, such as Colorado, where people can buy the drug in higher potency and drive it back to Indiana to sell for a high price, Cooper said. People who want to deal the drug pool their money, buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of the drug where it can legally be sold and drive it back to Indiana, he said.
At least three homicides in Greenwood, including the deaths of 20-year-old Douglas Anre Lee Lane in 2015 and Steven and Julie Konchinsky in 2011, were over marijuana, Cooper said. And in the last several weeks, police have seized large amounts of cash and marijuana in two separate cases in the county, Cooper said.
That is likely why police found loaded guns throughout the Greenwood home where the shootout happened, because the high-priced marijuana makes dealing the drug dangerous, Cooper said.
And curbing the amount of drug dealing is a struggle, especially after recent changes of the law that made marijuana offenses often a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum of six months in jail, Cooper said.
That’s why police want residents to call them if they see something suspicious going on in their neighborhood, Fillenwarth said.
“We can’t be everywhere. We need to rely on the community,” Fillenwarth said.
Investigators have vague details about a possible description of the vehicle the man was running to, and also want to find the acquaintance who was at the home before the man pushed his way in, Fillenwarth said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police at 317-887-5619, through the police tip line at 317-865-0300 or through the Police Connect feature on the city’s website at greenwood.in.gov.