According to Fox 59, the alleged shooter believed that he was entitled to half of the stimulus check earned by the mother of his child. The day after the man and woman argued about that dollar amount, police say, the man returned and shot and killed four people- a daughter of the woman, as well as her mother, brother and cousin. The mother, however, survived the shooting.
The man also allegedly took the couple’s baby, leading to a statewide Amber Alert, although the baby was later recovered unharmed, at the residence of the accused shooter’s sister. This led to a four-hour standoff with police, after which the accused shooter, who had been hiding in the closet, was arrested without incident.
The Indianapolis Star also reported that the mother had a restraining order against the accused shooter, following “several incidents in which she accused him of repeated harassment and violence,” of which involved the accused shooter shooting the woman’s car several times with a gun.
“She was afraid to leave this man because she knew he would come back and kill her. He had threatened her numerous times, put sugar in her tank, slashed her tires, shot up her car. She lived in fear with this man. She suffered through this before the shooting,” a family member of the woman told KRON.
The accused shooter, according to an affidavit reported on by multiple media outlets, admitted that the two "were arguing because he wanted some of her stimulus check.” He was charged, on a preliminary basis, with four counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of robbery. The affidavit also stated that “he admitted to killing four people and told [his sister] details about how it happened.”
That was not the only recent violent crime reportedly involving a dispute over a stimulus check. A murder in Detroit, also in mid-March, may have resulted from an argument over one of the checks. Per Fox 2 in Detroit, the shooting of a 53-year-old man in that city appears to have involved an argument over a stimulus check; the man survived but the alleged shooter was taken into custody.
Also in March, a South Carolina man reportedly launched a campaign of terror, which included viciously assaulting his girlfriend and setting her house and car on fire. According to deputies quoted by WSPA, the man said the incidents followed “the government keeping his $600 stimulus check for child support,” as well as his desire to “get even with those who had hurt him in the past.
Stephen Silver, a technology writer for The National Interest, is a journalist, essayist and film critic, who is also a contributor to The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philly Voice, Philadelphia Weekly, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, Living Life Fearless, Backstage magazine, Broad Street Review and Splice Today. The co-founder of the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle, Stephen lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two sons. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenSilver.