Man charged in weekend murder during violence

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — A man was charged with murder Thursday in the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old during weekend violence in downtown Indianapolis that followed protests over the death of George Floyd and police treatment of African Americans.

Tyler Newby, 29, faces one count of murder in Sunday's killing of Dorian Murrell, 18. He was being held without bond Thursday pending a Monday court appearance in the case. Online court records do not list an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

The Marion County Prosecutor's office said in a statement that witnesses said Newby and Murrell were involved in an altercation before Newby allegedly shot Murrell in the stomach about 2 a.m. Sunday. The teen, who ran a short distance before collapsing from his injuries, was later pronounced dead.

Murrell was one of two people fatally shot during the downtown violence. Indiana University football player Chris Beaty was also killed, on Saturday night. Indianapolis police have made no arrests in Beaty's killing.

Police spokeswoman Officer Genae Cook said Thursday no information can be released on the ongoing Beaty death investigation “to maintain the integrity of witness statements and facts still forthcoming."

A probable cause affidavit filed with the charges against Newby state that a friend told officers he accompanied Newby downtown “to see what all had happened" during that night's violence, in which windows in businesses were smashed and police fired tear gas to disperse crowds.

The friend said he and Newby, who is white, were walking around when he picked up a gas canister that had been discharged. The friend said a group of about 10 people then approached him and someone asked what he had found, to which he replied “don’t worry about it.”

Three or four males approached and pushed Newby's friend a little bit, the affidavit states. The friend told officers he looked over and saw Newby on the ground with a black male standing over him, then heard a loud bang, before people scattered and the black male grabbed his stomach, ran and then fell.

The friend said he also ran and that the only weapon he had seen was a gun in Newby's hand, adding that “no one else had a weapon."

The affidavit states that Newby told police that after he and his friend walked past a group of black males and were asked what they had found someone shoved him from behind and he fell to the ground. He said he rolled over, found one of the males standing over him and was “afraid the male was going to start punching him." Although that male did not say anything to him, nor strike him, Newby told officers he pulled out his gun and shot him once.

The affidavit states that Newby approached an officer shortly after the shooting and told him, “I don’t know who I need to tell, but I just shot somebody.” Newby told the officer where the shooting occurred and gave the officer his handgun, according to the affidavit.

Murrell's half-brother said he was with Murrell and other people who were standing around downtown talking when an altercation began with a white male. He told officers Murrell had that male on the ground when he was shot, but he said there had been no physical altercation between Murrell and Newby, and he didn't recall that they had argued.

He said Murrell did not have a weapon and no punches were thrown.

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