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Murder investigation wrapping up

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A Franklin woman closed herself in an upstairs room and called 911 after a shooter fired one last bullet that grazed her body.

Lianne Smith was upstairs, waiting for a neighbor and his two sons to help get 21-year-old Andrew Parish out of her house and away from her daughter. But as the neighbor and his sons went into the bedroom, Parish pulled a handgun and started shooting. After he shot three people in that bedroom, Parish fired one last shot down the upstairs hallway at Smith. The bullet just nicked her, and she closed herself into a room and called police.

By the time she got on the line with 911, Parish had shot a 19-year-old woman multiple times, killing her. Her neighbor also was bleeding badly from a neck wound. His two sons, one of whom had been shot in the face, escaped the house. As Smith talked to police, Parish was leaving the house. His ex-girlfriend, Smith’s daughter Maria Davis, was unharmed.

Ten days after the shooting in which Parish killed two people and himself, police are nearly finished with the investigation. Officers have concluded interviews with victims, their families and neighbors and don’t need to talk to anyone else now, Franklin Police Department Detective Adam Joseph said. Police are sending the firearms Parish used, a handgun and AK-47 rifle, to have the Indiana State Police and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives analyze them and try to trace their history to see how Parish got them.

Police know Parish went to the house to try to reconcile with Davis. He intended to kill himself because they found a suicide note in his bedroom. But police won’t be able to definitively say why Parish chose to shoot four people in the house and why he didn’t turn the gun on Davis.

“Without actually talking to the suspect, because he’s deceased, we’ll never exactly know why it happened. We have talked to people involved as far as witnesses and victims. We know what happened and how it happened. But the answer to why it happened may never be answered,” Joseph said.

Davis’ 12-year-old brother ran out of the house when the gunfire started to get a police officer who lived nearby. But Parish was able to get into his Ford Mustang and drive off before police arrived. In that car, he had an AK-47 assault rifle with six additional magazines of ammunition.

After leaving the house and driving north on Hurricane Road, Parish made several phone calls to friends and family. Police have talked to most of those people, and police say the conversations were all similar. Parish told the people he loved them, apologized and told them he was going to kill himself. He stopped at a farm about 4 miles away; and as police closed in, he used the military-grade rifle to shoot himself.

Parish shot and killed Davis’ friend, 19-year-old Sara Davidson, in the bedroom where the argument had started that night. Davidson was shot multiple times including in the upper body and face and was dead by the time police arrived, Joseph said. He shot neighbor Ernie Jasper, who had come over to try to get Parish to leave, in the neck; and he died later that night at an Indianapolis hospital. Jasper’s 21-year-old foster son Dustin Gray was shot in the face, but recovered and was released from a hospital two days later.

Parish had been arguing with Davis in an upstairs bedroom for about 15 minutes, when Jasper told him it was time to leave the house. If Parish didn’t leave, Jasper said, he was going to escort him out of the home. When Parish didn’t leave and Jasper and his two adult foster sons started the enter the bedroom, Parish started shooting.

Unless new information is brought to police about the shooting, the interviews are mostly over. Officers are waiting for state police and federal agents to help track the background of the guns he used and determine whether he bought them legally or if they had ever been used in another crime, Joseph said.

From those interviews since Feb. 3, police have been able to determine the order in which Parish shot the four people. Jasper was shot first in the face. Parish then continued firing at Gray and 18-year-old Danny Scott Jr. After Gray and Scott ran out of the bedroom, Parish shot and killed Davidson. Parish then shot down the upstairs hallway at Davis’ mother, Lianne Smith.

Davis, who was only a few feet from Parish when he started shooting, was not shot. Police aren’t releasing details or speculating as to why Parish didn’t shoot his ex-girlfriend.

“There is some explanation as to why she is uninjured, physically uninjured, so to say. We’ve put some things together and are pretty confident as to how she escaped unharmed. At this point I don’t know that’s information we’re ready to release yet,” Joseph said.

Parish pulled into a farm on County Road 400N about 10:30 p.m. A neighbor called to report seeing a suspicious vehicle pulling behind large grain bins at the farm, and police arrived a short time later. As officers circled the grain bins, Parish shot himself in the head with the assault rifle.

Police determined that Parish has no relation or connection to the owner of that farm, Joseph said. Police aren’t sure whether Parish had intended to try to hide behind the large grain bins or just randomly decided on the farm as the place where he would shoot himself, Joseph said.

When police found the extra ammunition in the car, they wondered whether he originally intended to shoot more people or planned to fight police. Parish’s family members said he often had guns and ammunition in his car, but police can’t know for sure why he had those extra magazines in his car, Joseph said.

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